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Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Cornell University Library 
E687 .G48 
The life of James A. Garfield president 

3 1924 030 930 923 
olin Overs 


NUMBEE 132. 

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York. Price 20 Cts. 

Copyright, 18S1, by Harpke A BaoTHRBs. 

July 30j 1880. 

Twelfth Edition. 

Subscription Price per Year of 52 NomberB, JIO. 


Copyright, 1880, by Hakpicb & Brothkhs. 


In the early part of the year 1863 I 
passed several weeks with General Eose- 
crans at Murfreesborough, Tennessee, and 
there for the first time met General 
Garfield, who was then Chief of Staff of 
the Army of the Cumberland. Circum- 
stances threw us into daily intercourse, 
and in a short time we became very inti- 
"saately acquainted, and probably no two 
men ever came to know each other better 
in a six weeks' intercourse than we did. 
We sat together at head-quarters, rode to- 
gether about the camp, and on short ex- 
cursions outside of our lines ; and during 
a severe illness which prostrated the Gen- 
eral for about ten days, I was with him 
almost constantly. Thrown thus close- 
ly together, it was natural for two men 
to open their hearts to each other. He 
opened his to me — told me the story of 
his life, of his early battle with poverty, 
his later struggles in securing an educa- 
tion, and his subsequent brilliant career 
in the Ohio Senate, and in the War — 
which career had ijust beon crowned by 
his wonderful campaign in Eastern Ken- 
tucky. The man's noble naiure won my 
affection, and his remarkable story fasci- 
nated my imagination ; and I determined 
to write his life, as an example and en- 
couragement to other young men who 
might be engaged in a like hand-to-hand 
struggle with adverse circumstances. With 
this in view, I took full no^es of his con- 
versations; and on my retarii from the 
front opened an extended correspondence 
with : many of his former associates in 
civil life and in the army. Among these 
were Captain B. B. Lake, Captain Ralph 
Plumb, and Major Don A. Pardee, of Ohio, 
who had been his companions in early 
life, and his comrades during the cam- 
paign in Eastern Kentucky, and to them 
I am indebted for many of the more im- 
portant facts contained in this biography, 
I accumulated a mass of material — enough 
to fill a goodly-sized volume ; but before 
1 set about putting it in order for publi- 
cation I consulted Dr. Mark Hopkins, then 
President of Williams College, as to the 
expediency of giving the book at that 
time to the public. I knew him as one 
of the wisest, as well as one of the best 
of men, and as strongly attached to Gar- 
field, and I determined to be governed by 
his views in regard to the intended publi- 
cation. The letter he wrote in answer to 
my inquiry is now before me, and I give 
it verbatim to the reader : 

"Williams College, May 26th, 1864. 
■•' Edmund Kirke, Esq. ; 
\ "Dbar Sib, — The course of General 

Garfield has been one which the young 
men of the country may well emulate, 
and you will do a good service if you can 
cause it to become to them a stimulus and 
a guide. Your work, 'Among the Pines,' 
I have read with great interest, and should 
hope much from anything you would un- 

" General Garfield is a young man to 
have his life written. As you know him, 
I need not tell you that it will be but 
eight years next commencement since he 
graduated. A rise so rapid, in both civil 
and military life, is, perhaps, without ex- 
ample in the country. 

" I should be glad to furnish you aid 
in this work, but having no incidents to 
communicate, could do so only by pre- 
paring an essay on what a student Ought 
to be. Obtaining his education almost 
wholly by his own exertions, and having 
reached an age when he could fully ap- 
preciate the highest studies. General Gar- 
field gave himself to study (with a zest 
and delight wholly unknown to those 
vvho find in it a routine. A religious 
man, and a man of principle, he pursued 
of his own accord the ends proposed by 
the institution. He was prompt, frank, 
manly, social in his tendencies ; combin- 
ing active exercise with habits of study, 
and thus did for himself what it is the 
object of a college to enable every young 
man to do — he made himself a man. 
There never was a time when we more 
needed those who would follow his ex- 

" Wishing you much success, I am, 
very truly yours, 

"Mark Hopkins." 

Those words, " General Garfield is a 
young man to have his life written " (he 
was then only thirty - two), decided me 
to defer the publication of the book till 
the riper life of Garfield should have jus- 
tified my expectations ; for I said then — 
and in print — that if he should live he 
would attain an eminence second to that 
of no other man ever born in this coun- 
try. I laid my material aside, and did 
not again recur to them till a few months 
ago, when, accidentally coming upon the 
above quoted letter of President Hopkins, 
I was reminded of my unfinished work, 
and again sought his advice as to its pres- 
ent publication. I told him I did not 
propose to write a political biography of 
Garfield, but to exhibit simply his remark- 
able career, as an example and encourage- 
ment to struggling young men ; and . I 
made no allusion whatever to the expec- 
tation I have long held that General Gar- 

field would some day become a candidate- 
for the Presidency, and be elected on a 
whirlwind wave of popular enthusiasm. 
The following is the answer I received 
from President Hopkins : 

"Williams College, March 27th, 1880. 

" Dear Sir, — It is my hope that Gen- 
eral Garfield may yet be President of th& 
United States. Of his nomination for 
the next term I suppose there is no prob- 
ability. If so, I should question the ex- 
pediency of getting out a life of him pre- 
vious to the nomination. It would look 
like a premature effort to bring him for- 
ward, and that always works prejudice. 
What I would like would be that he 
should grow up to the nomination for 
that office, as he did to that for the Sen- 
ate in Ohio. 

" That General Garfield has now reach- 
ed such a position that his life might 
properly be published with no reference 
to its political bearing, is true ; but' any 
publication of it will be supposed to have 
such a bearing, and you can judge better 
than I can of the time that would be least 
likely to awaken" jealousy. With this 
suggestion in regard to time, I would say 
that I think you would do a good service 
to the young men of the country by pub- 
lishing the life. 

" Truly yours, 

"Mark Hopkins." 

Again this wise and eminent man up- 
set my plans, and again I abandoned the- 
intended' publication. 

But the people in convention nomi- 
nated Garfield for the Presidency, and 
thus removed all objections to the iinme- 
diate publication of his biography. 

I make this extended explanation, that 
it may be seen that this book, while in 
parts rapidly written, is not a hasty pro- 
duction. It is the result of a careful 
gathering and sifting of material during 
a period of fully seventeen years, in all of 
which time I have intimately known and 
closely observed the career of this most in- 
teresting man afhong the public men of 
this country. The book is not intended to 
make him votes ; but it will do so ; for it i» 
a truthful record of his life, and his life 
cannot be made known without its en- 
dearing him to the hearts and commend- 
ing him to the intelligence of his coun- 
trymen, as the one man now living who is 
pre-eminently qualified to fill the first 
station in this Repuhlic. 

Edmund Kirke. 

New York, July 4th, 1880. 









James A. Gtakfield is of New England an- 
cestry. He is the ninth in direct descent from 
Edward Garfield, who emigrated from near Ches- 
ter, on the border of Wales, in 1636, and settled 
in Watertown, Massachusetts ; and there, in the 
ancient burial-ground of that beautiful suburb 
of Boston, fire of his ancestors now lie buried. 
They were all tillers of the soil — a sturdy, inde- 
pendent, God-fearing race of men, but in no way 
distinguished for intellectual or other achieve- 
ments. They have left scarcely any record of 
their lives except the brief histories that may still 
be deciphered on their mouldering head-stones ; 
but they have bequeathed to their descendants 
a better heritage than fame — the priceless birth- 
jight of which Cowper boasted. 

Edward Garfield, as I have said, came from 
the border of Wales, but from which side of the 
border is uncertain, and hence it is impossible, 
at this distance of time, to decide whether he 
was a Welshman or an Englishman. According 
to a tradition of the family, he married a German 
lady on his passage out to this country ; and if 
this be true, it accounts for the decided German 
cast of countenance, and strong love for the Ger- 
man race and literature which distinguish Gen- 
eral Garfield. He once said, "England is not 
the father-land of the English-speaking people. 
Our real ancient home, the real father-land qf our 
race, is the ancient forests of Germany." 
I Of the immediate descendants of Edwai-d Gar- 
field the &mily has no records ; but it ill known 
that in 1766 Solomon Garfield married Sarah 
Stimpson, and removed to Weston, Massachu- 
setts, and that his brother, Abraham Garfield, 
with one John Hoar, was, in 1775, called as a wit- 
ness by the Province to prove that the British 
troops committed an unprovoked breach of the 
peace in firing first upon the handful of militia 
assembled at Concord Bridge. So careful were 
our fathers to have it appear they Ijad observed 
the law, and so little did they know that the 
shots they then fired were to echo round the 
world ! Abraham Garfield was in the battle of 
Concord ; it is uncertain if his brother was, but 
it is known that he was a soldier during the Rev- 
olution. One of these men was the great-grand- 
father, the other the great-uncle, of General Gar- 
field ; while the abovermentioned John Hoar was 
the great-grandfather of Senator George F. Hoar, 
who was chairman of the Convention which nom- 
inated General Garfield for the Presidency. 

Coming out of the Revolution a poor man — 
for all his wealth was in the worthless Conti- 
nental cun-ency of the period — Solomon Garfield 
turned his eyes westward in search of a home 
for his young and growing family. Soon after 
the close of the 'war he removed from Weston, 
and settled in the town of Worcester, Otsego 
County, New York. Here he took up a small 
farm, and, like his original ancestor, with his own 
hands carved out a home in the almost unbroken 
wilderness. Toward the close of the century, 
one of his sons, Thomas Garfield, the eighth in 

descent from the sturdy Briton, married hei-e 
Asanaith Hill, a half-sister of Samuel Russell, a 
gentleman well known to many now living as the 
late highly esteemed clerk of Otsego County. 
Like all bis American ancestors, Thomas Gar- 
field followed the plough. He owned and lived 
upon a farm known in the neighborhood as 
"West Hill." On this farm, in December of 
the year 1799, was born his son, Abram Gai-field, 
who became the father of the subject of this 

About the year 1801, Thomas Garfield, while 
still a young man, suddenly sickened and died, 
leaving hi^ young family to battle almost alone 
with adverse circumstances — a fate which was 
singularly repeated in the history of his young- 
est son, Abram, who was then scarcely more than 
an infant in his mother's arms. On the death 
of his father this child was taken into the family 
of his father's near friend and neighbor, James 
Stone, of West Hill, and by him was reared as 
one of his own children. This half-orphan boy 
grew up to manhood, the counterpart of all his 
American progenitors. He was tall, broad-shoul- 
dered, strong of sinew, and large of body and of 
brain ; but he exhibited no marked superiority 
over the other young farmers of the neighborhood. 
In his large brain may have slept the undeveloped 
force which, in more favorable circumstances, 
might have made him a leader among men ; but, 
chained down by an iron necessity, this force 
never awoke to activity; and he went to his 
grave a mere "hewer of wood and drawer of 
water " — all his great powers expended in wrest- 
ing from the unkindly earth a bare subsistence 
for his wife and children ; and yet those who 
knew him well speak of him as a marked char- 
acter — kind-hearted, broad-minded, and uttering 
now and then a quaint sort of wisdom, which, 
though his education had been meagre, and t\e 
had little knowledge of books, showed that he 
had thought much and deeply on the subjects 
most worthy of the attention of thinking beings. 

Early in life this man'married Eliza Ballon, 
a near relative of Hosea Ballou, the great Apos- 
tle of American Universalism. She became the 
mother of General Gai'field, and thus he is allied 
to that distinguished family, which has given so 
many eloquent preachers and eminent divines to 
liberal theology, and for two centuries has left 
such deep and abiding traces on the scholarship, 
religion, and jurisprudence of this country. 

The Ballous are of Huguenot origin, and di- 
rectly descended from Maturin Ballou, who fled 
from France on the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes, and, joining the infant colony of Roger 
Williams, settled in Cumberland, Rhode Island. 
There Maturin Ballou built a. church, which is 
still standing, and still known as the "Elder 
Ballou Meeting-house," and there, during a long 
life, he taught the purest tenets of the i^rench 
Reformation TOth a fervid eloquence that was 
not unworthy of the great French Reformers. 
For many generations his descendants preached 
from this pulpit ; but now the old Meeting-house 
has ceased to be a place of regular worship, and 
instead has become a sort of Mecca, to which 

tlje Ballous from all parts of the country yearly 
come to inscribe their names in the ancient book 
still kept in the weather-beaten church, and to % 
talk of the gloiy of their ancestors. This old 
church is a genuine curiosity. It is of wood, 
shingled on the outside, and its pews and gal- 
lery are of oak, hewn from the solid log, and 
put together with wooden pins. When it was 
built there were no saw-mills in the country, and 
no nails could he procured, so that even its floor 
was hewn by hand, and fastened down with wood- 
en pegs./ It is still in excellent preservation, 
and looks as if it might yet outlast the storms of 
another two centuries. ' 

This old church has listened t6 the eloquence 
of more than half a score of this remarkable 
familj', and what a tale it might tell had it a 
voice to reproduce the burning words that have 
echoed among its decaying lafteis ! Father and 
son, and grandson, and great-grandson, even to 
the tenth generation, have impressed their high 
thoughts, their lofty aspirations, and their loving 
hearts upon its old walls, till it would seem to be 
all impregnated with their living breath — a part 
of the pure and holy lives they have left as a 
legacy to their remotest descendants. 

They were a race of preachers. One of them, 
himself a clergyman, had four sons who were 
ministers of the Gospel : one of these sons had 
three sons who were ministers, and one of-these 
had a son and a grandson who were also clergy- 
men. But it is not only as preachers that the 
members of this remarkable family have been 
celebrated. As lawyers, politicians, and soldiers 
some of them have been equally distinguished. 
One of them is now the eminent head of Tufts 
College, and a score or more were officers or 
privates in the Revolution ; and, nearer our 
day, another — Sullivan Ballou, the distinguished 
Speaker of the Rhode Island House of. Repre- 
sentatives — fought and fell at Bull Rurf, where 
his body was exhumed and burnt by the Con- 
federates. As a race, they have been remarkable 
for an energy and force of character that is equal 
to the highest enteiprises, and altogether un- 
daunted in the face of what would be to others 
insurmountable obstacles. For this trait of char- 
acter they are especially known ; and this trait 
is fully reproduced in the distinguished man who 
is destined to attain a higher eminence than any 
yet attained by any of his distinguished family. 

One of the Ballous, who preached in the old 
church about theij time of the Revolution, was 
conscientiously opposed to receiving pay for his 
ministrations ; and yet he was so poor that his 
son, in learning to write, was compelled to use 
.birch bark in lieu of paper, and chaicoal instead 
of pen and ink. This son was Hosea Ballou, 
the founSer of Univeisalism in the United States. 
His father, before his birth, had left the fold of 
the old Meeting-house, and settled in New 
Hampshire ; and with him went his cousin, 
James Ballon, who became the father of Eliza 
Ballou, the heroic mother of James A. Garfield. 

"Great men are the sons of great mothers ;" 
and from this woman are derived most of the - 
great qualities which distinguish her eminent son. 


To his father he owes his large brain, and robust, 
manly frame ; but to his mother he is indebted 
for the untiring energy, unyielding pluck, and 
patient courage which have enabled him to over- 
come obstacles that would have altogether daunt- 
ed any common man. In the drawing-room of 
General Garfield's house in Washington hangs 
an exquisite painting, which the casual observer 
would take for a portrait of Mary, the mother 
of Washington. It has the same fine, regular 
features ; the same high, full forehead ; and 
the same serene, spiritual eyes ; but the firm 
lines about the mouth, and the intense look in 
the deep, clear eyes, reveal a depth and energy 
of nature that is not seen in the face of the re- 
. vered mother of Washington. The face of this 
woman shows that she l^as hoped, and feared, 
and struggled ; that life to her has been a stern 
conflict; .but that in the conflict she has at last 
come off grandly victorious. This is written all 
over her features ; but is most clearly seen in 
the placid smile which encircles the firmly closed 
mouth, and irradiates the whole of the noble 
countenance., This is the mother of Garfield. 
She has made him what he is. Her personality 
and her principles have moulded his character, 
and shaped his whole career ; and the filial def- 
erence which he shows her to-day, when he is 
well-nigh at the summit of a manly ambition, is 
the same he felt for her when, a friendless boy, 
he was struggling in poverty and privation to 
acquire the means for an education. And when 
we look into the private lives of great men, do we 
not see it to be true that all their real greatness 
is traceable to the influence of some such wom- 
an, who was either their wife or their mother ? 

After a few years of married life, Abram Gar- 
field removed with his wife to North-eastei'n 
Ohio. Buying a tract of eighty acres in the 
township of Orange, Cuyahoga County, he erect- 
ed upon it a log-house, and set resolutely to work 
to hew out for himself a home in the wilderness. 
And it was a wilderness. The settlements were 
few and far between ; and a large portion of the 
State was still covered with the original forest. 
In the midst of this forest Abram Garfield 
erected his modest log* cottage, miles away fi'om 
any other dwelling. It could be called a modest 
cottage, for it was only about twenty feet one 
way and thirty the other, and was built of rough 
logs, ^o which the bark and moss still were 
clinging. It had a plank door, swinging on 
stout iron hinges, three small windows, a deal 
floor, hewn smooth with an axe, and a roof cov- 
ered with oak clap-boards, held down by long 
weight -poles. The spaces between the logs 
were filled in with clay, and the wooden chim- 
ney was laid up in mud, and rose on the out- 
side something in the shape of the Egyptian 
Pyramids. Though not exactly a mud hovel, 
there was a good deal of mud about it ; but it 
was warm in winter and cool in summer, and 
quite as much of a house as was then to be found 
in that region. In this humble dwelling, on the 
19th of November, 1831 , was born Jambs Abram 
Gakfield, the present President of the United 
States, who is the subject of this history. 

He was the youngest x>f four children, one 
of whom was then a boy of nine years, and the 
others girls, aged respectively seven and eleven 
years. These children, with, their father and 
mother, comprised the little family, and it was 
a, happy household ; for though poor, they were 
content, and the distance which divided them 
from the rest of the world bound them more 
closely together, like different spires in a sheaf 
of wheat, with separate individualities, but with 
only one life. 

But an autumn wind blew, and the wheat- 
sheaf was thrown to the ground and rent asun- 
der. Before the younger Garfield was two years 
old, the strong, broad-breasted man who bound 
these lives together was borne out of the low 
door-way, and laid in a corner of the little wheat- 
field forever. Nothing now remained to bind up 
these broken lives but the weak, puny arms of 
the mother ; but she threw them about the little 
household, and set her face bravely to meet the 
wintry storms that were coming : and it was a 
cold, hard winter, and they were alone in the 
p^ijxjo-n/issi The SBOW lay deep all over the 

hills ; and often, when lying awake in their nar- 
row beds, the little ones would hear the wolves 
howling hungrily around the lonely cabin, and 
the panthers crying and moaning before the 
door, like children who had lost their way ia a 

The long, dreary winter wore away at last, 
but spring brought no- fair weather to the little 
household. They were not only poor, but in 
debt. The debt must be paid, and the future, 
ah ! that stared darkly in their faces. But this 
brave mother went to work bravely. Fifty .acres 
of the little farm of eighty acres were sold, and 
she and the older children went to work upon 
the remainder. Thomas, the older boy, who 
now was ten, hired a horse, and ploughed and 
sowed the small plat of cleared land ; and the 
mother split the rails, and fenced in the little 
house -lot. The maul was so heavy that she 
could only just lift it to her shoulder, and with 
about every blow she herself came down to the 
ground ; but she struggled on with the work, and 
soon the lot was fenced, and the little farm in 
tolerable order. 

But the ,corn was running low in the bin, and 
it was a long time till harvest. So the mother 
measured out the corn, reckoned how much her 
children would eat, and went to bed without her 
supper. For weeks she did this. But the chil- 
dren were young and growing ; their little mouths 
were larger than she had measured, and after 
awhile she omitted to eat her dinner also. One 
meal a day, and she a weak and fragile woman ! 
Is it to be wondered at that she is loved and re- , 
vered by her children ? 

But the harvest came at last, and then want 
was driven away, and it never again looked in 
with gaunt jaws upon the lonely widow. Neigh- 
bors, too, soon gathered round the little log cot- 
tage in the wilderness. The nearest was a mile 
away ; but a mile in a new country is not near 
so far as a mile in an old one, and they came 
often to visit the lonely household. They had 
sewing to do, and the widow did it; ploughing 
to do, and Thomas did that ; and after a time 
one of them hired the boy to work on his farm, 
paying him twelve dollars a month for fourteen 
hours' daily labor. Thomas worked away like 
a man ; and— while I do not state it as an histor- 
ical fact — I verily believe that no man ever felt 
himself so much of a man as he did when he 
came home and counted out into his mother's 
lap his first fortnight's wages — all in silver half- 

" Now, mother," he said, "the shoemaker can 
come and make James some shoes." James 
is our present Pi-esident ; and though the earth 
had made four revolutions' since he first set foot 
upon it. he had never yet known the warm em- 
brace of shoe-leather. 

A school had been started in a neighboring 
district, and Thomas wanted the other chil- 
dren to attend it; so he worked away with a 
will to earn money enough to keep the family 
through the winter. The shoemaker came at 
last, and made the shoes, boarding out a part 
of his pay ; and then Mehetabel, the older girl, 
took James upon her back, and they all trudged 
off to school together — all but Thomas. He 
stayed at home to finish the barU, thresh the 
wheat, shell the corn, and help his mother force 
a scanty living for them all from the little farm 
of thirty acres. And here my pen pauses with 
a half-regret that it is not the life of this boy,. 
Thomas, that I am writing. I doubt if so much 
manliness, unselfishness, and single-hearted de- 
votion were ever shown by a lad of thirteen. 
Of such a boy great things might be expected ; 
and yet he has sunk out of sight, and the world 
scarcely knows of his existence. Cheerfully he 
chose a life of humble toil and obscurity, that he 
might help his younger brother to fit himself for 
a career of honor and usefulness. So, after all, 
he has achieved great things ; for if such self- 
sacrifice is not great, the New Testament gives 
us a wrong definition of greatness. 

The nearest village was about a mile and a 
half away. It was not then much of a village — 
merely the school-house, a grist-mill, and a little 
log store and dwelling — though now it is a thriv- 
ing place with a thousand or more people, and 

rejoicing in the name of Chagrin Falls : an odd 
name, but it has a meaning. The emigrant Yan- 
kee who settled the\ village built the mill in the- 
winter, when the stream which forms the falls 
was a foaming torrent; but summer ):ame,«nd 
lo! the stream stopped running, and the falls 
stopped falling; and with the little water re- 
maining he baptized it Chagrin Falls. Very 
many of us build mills that grind our grist only 
half of the year, but not all of us are honest 
enough to thus publish our chagrin to the world. 
But this is rather a roundabout way of stating 
the simple fact that, when the colder weather 
came, and the snow lay deep in the roads, Me- 
hetabel was not stout enough to carry her little- 
brother to school, and so he stayed at home and 
learned to read at his mother's knee. 

He was a mere scrap of a boy, not five years 
old, and only able to spell through his words, 
when one day he came across a little poem about 
the rain. After patient effort he made out this 

"The rain came pattering on the roof." 

"Why, mother," he shouted, "I've heard the- 
rain do that myself!" All at once it broke upon 
him that words stand for thoughts ; and all at 
once a new world opeiied to him — a world in 
which poor boys are of quite as much conse- 
quence as rich men, and it may be of a trifle 
more ; for nearly all the work and thinking of 
the world has been done by poor boys. This 
new world opened to him ; and the boy set him- 
self zealously to work to open the door which 
leads into it. Before he was out of bed in the 
morning he had a book in his hand ; and after 
dark he would stretch himself upon the naked 
hearth, and by the light of the fire spell out the 
big words in " The English Reader,"until he had 
much of the bool^in his memory, and there It 
remains to this day. 

Seeing his fondness for learning, his mother 
determined to do all she could to gratify it ; and 
thinking him still too young to trudge a mile 
and a half to school, she offered the neighbors 
a corner of her little farm if they would build 
upon it a school-house. It would be as far away 
from the homes of most of them as the other 
was, but they caught her spirit, and in the course 
of the autumn built a new school-house. It was 
of logs, only twenty feet square, and had a pun- 
cheon floor, a slab roof, and log-benches without 
backs or a soft spot to sit on ; but it was to turn 
out men and women for the nation. 

Before the winter set in the school- master 
came — an awkward, slab - sided young man, 
rough as the bark and green as the leaves of the 
pine-trees which grew about his home ia New 
Hampshire ; but, like the pine-trees, he had a 
wonderful deal of sap in him — a head crammed 
with knowledge, and a heart full of good feeling. 
He was to " board round " among the neighbors, 
and at first was quartered at the little cottage, 
to eat the widow's corn-bread, and sleep in the 
loft with James and Thomas. He took at once 
a fancy to James, and, as the little fellow trotted 
along by his side on the first day of school, he 
put his hand upon his head, and said to him, 
"If you lc(arn, my boy, you may grow np yet, 
and be a general." 

The boy did not know exactly what it was to 
be a general ; but his mother had told him about 
the red and blue coats of the Revolution, and 
of their brass buttons and gilded epaulets; so 
he fancied it must be some very grand thing ; 
and he answered, "Oh yes, sir; I'll learn — ^I'll 
be a general." 

It was, as is common, one of the rules of the 
school that the scholars should sit still, and not 
gaze about the school-room. But James never 
sat still in all his life. The restless activity of 
his brain made it impossible for him to observe 
this rule. He tried -to do it, and he tried so 
hard that he minded nothing else, and entirely 
neglected to study. , The result was that his les- 
sons were not learned, and after a few days the 
teacher said to his mother, "I don't want to 
grieve you, ma'am ; bu^ I fear I can make noth- 
ing of James. He won't sit still, and he does 
not learn his lessons. " 

But he did grieve the poor woman; nothing 


had grieved her ao much since the death of 
her husband. She looked at the boy and said, 
"Oh, James!" This was all she said; but it 
went to the heart of the five-year-old boy. He 
thought he was very wicked, that he had done 
very wrong, and, burying his face in her lap, he 
sobbed out that he would be a good boy, he would 
sit still, he would learn. 

The sorrow of the child touched the heart of 
the teacher ; and he tried him again, and tried 
him now in the right way. He let him move 
about as much as he liked, calling to mind that 
he came to school to become a scholar, and not 
a block of wood. At the end of a fortnight 
he said to the widow; " James is perpetual mo- 
tion ; but he learns — not a scholar in the school 
learns so fast as he." This healed the mother's 
sorrow ; for she had set her heart upon this boy 
becoming a man of learning. 

This restlessness was a characteristic of the 
boy. It was born in him, and clings to him, 
even now that he is a man. Every night, when 
lying in his narrow bed in the little cottage, he 
would kick off the clothes, and turning over 
half awake, say to his brother, "Thomas, cov- 
er me up." A quarter of a century later, he 
and a distinguished officer lay down one night 
on the ground after a great battle, with only a 
single blanket between them. His eyes were no 
.sooner closed than, after his usual fashion, he 
kicked off the clothes, and turning over half 
awake, said to the officer, " Thomas, cover me 
up." He covered him up, and in doing so 
awakened him, and repeated the words he had 
said. Then the man, who all that day had rid- 
den unmoved through a hurricane of bullets, 
turned his face away and wept like a child ; for 
he thought of Thomas, and of the little log cot- 
tage in the wilderness. 

. W^hen the term was over, the teacher gave 
James a Testament — his way of saying that, for 
his years, he was the best scholar in the school. 
He took it home, and I verily believe that the 
Jittle cottage then held the happiest mother on 
tills continent. 

So things went on — Thomas tilling the farm 
or working for the neighbors, and James going 
to school, and helping his brother mornings and 
evenings, until one was twelve and the other 
twenty-one years old. Then, wanting to make 
more money than he could at home, Thomas 
went to Michigan, and engaged in clearing land 
for a farmer.: In a few months' he returned with 
seventy-five doll/irs, all in gold. Counting it out 
on the little table, he said, "Now, mother, you 
shall have a framed house. " 

All these years they had lived in the little log 
cottage, but Thomas had been gradually cutting 
the timber, getting out the boards, and gathering 
together the other material for a new dwelling ; 
and now it was to go up, and his mother have a 
comfortablehome for the rest of her days. Soon 
a carpenter was hired, and they set to work upon 
it. James took so handily to the business that 
the joiner told him he was born to be a carpen- 
ter. This gave the boy an idea. He would set 
up for a carpenter, and, like Thomas, do some- 
thing to help his mother. 

During the next two years he worked on four or 
five bams, going to school only at intervals ; but 
he then had learned all that is to be leai-ned from 
"Kirkham's Grammar," "Pike's" and "Adams's 
Aritlimetics," and "Morse's (old) Geography " — 
that wonderful book, which describes Albany as 
a city with a great many houses, and a great 
many people, " all standing with their gable ends 
to the street." With this immensity of knowl- 
edge he thought he would begin the world. Not 
having got above a barn, he naturally concluded 
he was not "born to be a carpenter," and so 
cast about for some occupation better suited to 
his genius. One — about its suitableness I will 
not venture an opinion — was not long in pre- 
senting itself. 

About ten miles from his mother's house, and 
not far away from Cleveland, lived a man who 
did a thriving business as a black-salter. He had 
a large establishment, and it was growing. It 
was growing, for James had just helped to add 
a woodshed to the log shanties of which it was 
and so it came about that he met its 


proprietoi', and the current of his life was changed 
— diverted into one of those sterile by-ways in 
which currents will now and then run, without be- 
ing able to give any good reason for so useless a 

"You kin read, you kin write, and you are 
death on figgers," said the man to the boy one 
day, as he watched the energetic way in which 
he did his work; "so stay with me, keep my 
'counts, and 'tend to the saltery. I'll find you, 
and give you fourteen dollars a month. " 

Fourteen dollars a month was an immense 
sum to a boy of his years ; so that night he 
trudged off through the woods to consult his 
mother. She was naturally pleased that the ser- 
vices of her son were so highly valued ; but she 
had misgivings about the proposed occupation — 
a world of wickedness, she thoughtj lurked be- 
tween buying and selling. 

But the boy overcame her scruples, and thus 
our future President became prime-minister to a 
black-salter. To this useful pursuit he applied 
the rules of arithmetic and the principles of gram- 
mar. And he did it well. So well that the 
black-salter would occasionally say to, him, in 
his rough but hearty fashion, "You're a good 
boy ; keep on, and one of these days you'll have 
a saltery of your own ; and maybe as big a one 
as our'n." 

And so he might, had not good or b&d fortune 
thrown in his way the few choice works which 
comprised the black-salter's library. These books, 
selected by the daughter of the village — who 
wrote " poetiy " for a Cleveland neii'spaper, and 
therefore had some literary taste — were such 
standard productions as "Sinbad the Sailor," 
"The Lives of Eminent Criminals," "The Pi- 
rate's Own Book," and Marryat's Novels. To- 
tally different from the dry but wholesome read- 
ing on which he had been nurtured, they roused 
the imagination and fostered the love of advent- 
ure which was born in the backwoods boy. But 
soon he was thrown upon the world these books 
tell about, and taught that " all is not gold that 
glitters," and life not a gorgeous romance, "full 
of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 

One day a female member of the family, in his 
hearing, spoke of him as a "servant," and that 
he could not tolerate. He a servant ! He who 
had read all about the battle of Bunker Hill, 
whose great-grandfather had seen a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence! Se a servant! 
The blood boiled in his veins, rushed to his face, 
and tingled way down to the tips of 'his toes ! 
Oh that a man had said it ! But it was a wom- 
an, so his hands and feet were tied. With the 
latter, however, he managed to climb up the 
rickety ladder which led to his lodgings, and ty- 
ing his few garments together he announced to 
the black-salter that a boy and a bundle of clothes 
were about to be subtracted from the population 
of his vicinity. The worthy man saw the main 
prop of his fortunes falling, and demeaned him- 
self accordingly. But entreaties and remon- 
strances were alike unavailing. Outraged dig- 
nity could not be appeased ; so in half an hour 
James, with his little bundle of clothes slung 
over his shoulder, was on his way homeward. 
His mother received him with open arms and a 
blessing. "Providence," she said, "will open 
some better way for you, my son." And Provi- 
dence did ; but it took its own time and way 
about it. . 

The boy was now out of employment ; but he 
soon took the job of chopping twenty-five cords 
of wood for a farmer in the township of New- 
burg, a place within the present limits of Cleve- 
land. For this he was to receive seven dollars. 
From where he worked he could see, looking to 
the north, the slaty-blue of- Lake Erie, and in 
his imagination it was magnified into the great 
ocean he had read of in the "Pirate's Own 
Book "and " Sinbad the Sailor." The vh-us he 
had imbibed from the black-salter's books now 
began to work, and he began to dream of an im- 
possible life upon the ocean. He determined to 
go out into the great world and carve out for 
himself « destiny — where carving is easy — on 
the breast of the waters. While dreaming this 
dream his work of wood-chopping went vigor- 
ously on, and time flew by with great rapidity. 

But he reflected that seven dollars is a small 
capital on which to begin the world ; so, when 
the job was done, he hired himself out to a Mr. 
Treat to work during haying and harvesting. 

But he still dreamed of the sea, and, when har- 
vest was over, went home to his mother, and an- 
nounced to her his intention to, begin life as a 
sailor. The announcement was a terrible blow 
to the poor woman, who had centred all her 
hopes on his becoming a scholar, and rising to a 
life of usefulness, if not distinction ;. but, seeing 
he had set his heart upon it, she forbore to op- 
pose him ; for she felt sure that God would, in 
his own time and way, turn him back from such 
a life. At last she consented to his going to 
Cleveland ; but she stipulated that he should try 
to procure some other respectable employment. 
Then the boy, with his small bundle of clothes 
upon his back, and a few dollars in his pocket, 
departed, amidst his mother's prayers and God's 

He walked the whole way— seventeen mileS— 
and, weary and footsore, arrived at Cleveland 
just at dark. But a good night's sleep and a 
warm breakfast refreshed him greatly, and in 
the morning he strolled out to view the great 
city. It was scarcely a fourth of its present 
size, but to the boy it was an immensity of 
houses. He had never seen buildings half so 
large, nor steeples half so high ; in fact, he had 
never seen steeples at all, for the simple people 
among whom he had lived did not put cocked 
hats and cockades upon their meeting-houses. 
He wandered about all day, stepping now and 
then, as he had promised his mother, into the 
business places to inquire for employment ; but 
no one wanted an honest lad who could read, 
write, and was "death on figgers." Evferybody 
could read and write, and there was no end to 
their figuring — so said a good-natured gentle- 
man, who gratuitously advised him to go home, 
teach a district school, or do honest work for a 

Night found him, weary and footsore, down 
upon the docks among the shipping. " These," 
he said to himself as he looked around upon the 
little fleet of sloops and schooners, " are the ships 
that Captain Marryat tells about;" and visions 
of the free life of which he had dreamed came 
again, even more vividly, before him. He sat 
down on the head of a pier and looked out on 
the great lake, heaving, and foaming, and rolling 
in broken waves all about him. He watched it 
creeping up the white beach, and gliding back, 
singing a low hymn among the shining stones, 
or muttering hoarse cries to the black rocks 
along the shore ; and then looked out on the 
white sails that were dancing about all over its 
bosom. His mother's little cottage, and the lone- 
ly woman herself — even then, it may be, seated 
in the open door-way, looking up the road for his 
coming, — faded from his sight as he gazed, and 
he stepped down upon one of the tossing vessels. 

It was a dirty fore-and-aft -schooner, with 
mildewed sails, a greasy deck, and a low-sunken 
cabin. In this cabin, which was thick with to- 
bacco-smoke, half a dozen men, with reeking 
clothes and sooty faces, were drinking and ca- 
rousing. He inquired of a sailor on the deck 
for the captain. He was told that he would 
soon come up ; and soon he did, » half-drunk- 
en wretch, with bloated features and filth -be- 
smeared clothes, swearing like a pirate. Step- 
ping modestly forward, the boy asked if a hand 
was wanted ; when, turning upon him, the reel- 
ing brute poured forth a volley of oaths and 
curses that made him shudder. This was his 
only answer. The poor awkward lad was for a 
moment thunderstruck; then he turned away, 
and walked back upon the pier to recover from 
his amazement. 

But this rebuff did not cure his longing for the 
sea. _ He was too tenacious of will to be so easi- 
ly disenchanted, and this passion had taken too 
deep a hold upon him. He im&gined that his 
homespun appearance had worked against Him 
with the captain, and that he would succeed on 
another trial if first he should rub off all the as- 
pects of a landsman. He must go through an 
initiatory process, for the quarter-deck was not 
to be reached except by successive steps upwai-d. 


As the lake w^s a step to the ocean, so the canal 
was a step to the lake, and he would begin with 
the canal. 

His cousin, Amos Letcher, commanded a boat 
on the Ohio and Pennsylvania Canal, and to him 
he would go for employment. Amos wanted a 
driver, and he took the situation, and so he rose 
i — it may have been an Irish hoist — from the 
station of prime-minister to a black-salter to the 
post of driver of a canal-boat. 

In an account of the boy's life on the canal 
that the worthy captain has given me, are some 
incidents which, in view of the lad's altered for- 
tunes, may be worth relating. The Evening 
Star was lying at her dock in Cleveland one 
July morning in 1847, when the boy presented 
himself to Captain Letcher and asked for employ- 
ment, adding, " I came here to ship on the lake, 
but tiiey blulf me off, and call me a country green- 
horn, and ask me if I can climb a mastinastorm." 

"And what did you tell them?" asked the 

"I told them I would try.'' 

The captain liked the boy'p pluck, and at once 
gave him charge of a pair of horses. Soon the 
boat set out on her voyage, and the captain 
writes: "In an hour the boys had the old 
Evening Star through the first lock. Jim was 
there with his team, ready to hitch on, and we 
were off in a jiffy. Soon we met a boat, and the 
two drivers had some trouble about their lines — 
they got sort of tangled. The impetus of our 
boat had carried her up even with the horses, 
and as there was a waste-way a few rods ahead, 
• my steersman called out, ' Hurrah Jim, whip up 
that team, or your line will ketch on the bridge. ' 
So Jim he cracks his whip, and his team was soon 
on the trot ; but, just as the team was at the mid- 
dle of the bridge, the line tightened, and jerked 
horses, driver and all into the canal. It came 
very nearly drowning the whole pile, and my 
opinion is, if it had, we should have lost a good 
President. But all is well that ends well. So, 
after everything was all right, I asked Jim, 
'What were you doing in the canal?' 'Oh, I 
was julst taking my morning bath,' he answered. 

"At Eleven Mile Lock we changed teams. 
Another liand took the tow-path, and Jim, with 
his team, came on board. After he had taken 
care of his team Jim came up on deck, and I 
thought I would sound him a little on the rudi- 
ments of geography, arithmetic, and grammar, 
for I was just green enough in those days to im- 
aging that I knew it all. You see, I had been 
teacher for three winters in the back- woods of 
Steuben County, Indiana. 

" 'Jim,' I said, 'I hear there is some come- 
out to you, and if you have no objections I would 
like to make up my own mind in regard to it. As 
it is a long way to Pancake Lock, this will be a 
good time ; so I should like to ask you a few 

" ' Proceed, ' said Jim, ' but don't ask too hard 
ones.' I asked him several, and he answered 
them all, and then turned on me, and asked me 
several that I could not answer, and I was like 
the boy who got into a row and said, ' If you'll 
let me alone, I'll let you alone.' 

" 'Jim,' I said, 'you have too good a head on 
you to be a wood-chopper or a canal-driver. 
You go to school one term more, and you will be 
qualified to teach a common school, and then yon 
can make anything you have » mind to out of 
yourself.' ' 

" ' Do you think so, captain ?' And it set him 
a thinking, I know. 

"Everything went off well until about ten 
o'clock that night. Then we were approaching 
the twenty-one locks of Akron, and I sent my 
bowman to make the first lock ready. Just as 
he got there, a bowman from a boat above ap- 
peared and said, ' Don't turn this lock ; our boat 
is just around the bend, ready to enter.' But my 
man objected, and commenced turning the gate. 
By this time both boats were near the lock, with 
their head-lights shining as bright as day, and 
every man from both was on hand, ready for a 
field -fight. I motioned to my bowman, and 
asked, ' Were you here first ?' 

" 'It is hard to tell,' he replied; 'but we will 
have the lock anyhow. ' 

" ' All right ; just as you say, ' I said ; and we 
laid out for a battle. 

"Jim had heard what had been said, and, 
tapping me on the shoulder, he said, ' See here, 
captain, does that lock belong to us ?' 

" 'I really suppose, according to law, it does 
not; but we will have it anyhow.' 

" 'No, 'replied the boy, 'we will not.' 

" ' And why not ?' I asked, in surprise. 

" ' Because it does not belong to us.' 

" I saw that Jim was right, so I cried, 'Boys, 
let thetn have the lock.' 

"At sunrise next morning we had got through 
all the twenty-one locks, and were on Summit 
Lake. It was a fine morning. The other driver 
was cracking his whip over his leader, had got 
them to a trot, and all seemed to be in good- 
humor. Breakfast was called. George Lee, our 
steersman, came out and sat down to breakfast, 
and the first word he spoke was, ' Jim, what is 
the matter with you?' 

" ' Nothing, ' said Jim ; ' I never felt better in 
my life. ' 

" ' But why did yon go for giving up the lock 
last night ?' 

" ' Oh, I thought it wasn't ours.' 

"'Jim, you are a coward, ' he answered ; ' you 
ain't fit for a boatman. You may do to chop 
wood or milk cows, but a man or a boy isn't fit 
for a boat who won't fight for his rights.' 

"Jim didn't miike any answer." 

This was the boy's first trip, ahd now again he 
did his work well ; so well that before its close he 
was promoted to the more responsible position of 
bowman. But, to tell the exact truth, this may 
have been quite as much owing to the admira- 
tion which the honest captain had conceived for 
the boy's courage as to any regard he had for 
his close attention to his duties as driver;' for he 
soon showed that he was not a coward, and it 
was on this first trip that he fought his first bat- 
tle and won his first victory. 

No ofiipial report was ever made of this battle, 
and no bulletin was ever issued in glorification 
of the boy's victory ; but the following I con- 
dense from the captain's account of the engage- 
ment : • 

"The Evening Star was at Beaver, and a 
steamboat was ready to tow her up to Pitts- 
burg. The boy was standing on deck, with the 
setting-pole against his shoulders, and some feet 
away stood Murphy, one of the boat-hands, a big 
burly fellow of thirty-five, when the steamboat 
threw the line, and, owing to a sudden lurch of 
the boat, it whirled over the boy's shoulders and 
flew in the direction of the boatman. 'Look 
out. Murphy!' cried the boy; but the rope had 
anticipated him, and knocked Murphy's hat off 
into the river. The iboy expressed his regret, 
but it was of no avail. In a towering rage the 
man rushed upon him, with his head down, like 
a maddened animal ; but stepping nimbly aside, 
the boy dealt him a powerful blow behind the 
ear, and he tumbled to the bottom of the boat 
among the copper ore. Before he could rise 
the boy was upon him, one hand upon his throat, 
the other raised for another blow upon his fron- 
tispiece. 'Pound the cussed fool, Jim!' cried 
Captain Letcher, who was looking on, appreciat- 
ingly. 'If he hain't no more sense 'n. to get 
mad at accidents, giv it ter him! Why don't 
you strike?' But the boy did not strike, for 
the man was down and in his power. Mur- 
phy expressed regret for his rage, and then Gar- 
field gave him his hand, and they became better 
friends than before. This victory of a boy of 
sixteen over a man of thirty-five obliterated the 
notion of young Garfield's character for coward- 
ice, and gave him a great reputation with his 
associates. The incident is still well remem- 
bered among the boatmen of the Ohio and 
Pennsylvania Canal. 

Another of Garfield's associates at this time 
was one Harry Brown — ^baptismal name, Henry 
S. Brown — of whom we shall have occasion to 
speak farther on in this history. 

Young Garfield remained on the canal four 
months, and during this period, by actual count, 
fell into the water fourteen times. His last im- 
mersion made a deep impression upon him, and 
was the turning-point in his history. It changed 

the whole current of his life, gave him a purpose, 
and made him a man. 

One rainy midnight, as the boat on which be 
was employed was leaving one of those long 
reaches of slack-water which abound in the Ohio 
and Pennsylvania Canal, he was called up to 
take his turn at the bow. Tumbling out of bed, 
his eyes heavy with sleep, he took his stand on 
the narrow platform below the bow-4eck, and be- 
gan uncoiling a rope to steady the boat through 
a lock it was approaching. Slowly and sleepily 
he unwound it, till it knotted and Caught in a nar- 
row cleft in the edge of the deck. He gave it a 
sudden pull, but it held fast ; then another knd a 
stronger pull, and it gave way, hut sent him over 
the bow into the water, Down he went into the 
dark night and the still darker river; and the 
boat glided on to bury him among the fishes. 
No human help was near. God only could save 
him, and he only by a miracle. So the boy 
thought, as he went down, saying the prayer his 
mother had taught him. Instinctively clutching 
the rope, he sank below the surface ; but then it 
tightened in his grasp and held firmly. Seizing 
it hand-over-hand, he drew himself up on deck, 
and was again a live boy among the living. An- 
other kink had caught in another crevice, and 
saved him ! Was it that prayer, or the love of 
his praying mother, which wrought this miracle ? 
He did not know ; but, long after the boat had 
passed the lock, he stood there, in his dripping 
clothes, pondering the question. 

Coiling the rope, he tried to throw it again 
into the crevice; but it had lost the knack of 
kinking. Many times he tried — a hundred, says 
my informant — and then sat down and reflect- 
ed. "I have thrown this rope," he thought, 
" one hundred times ; I might throw it ten times 
as many' without its catching. Ten times one 
hundred are one thousand — so, there were a 
thousand chances against my life! Against 
such odds Providence only could have saved itJ 
Providence, therefore, thinks it worth saving ; 
and if that's so, I won't throw it away on a 
canal-boat. I'll go home, get an education, and 
he a man." 

He acted on, this sudden resolution, and not 
long afterward stood before the little cottage in 
the depths of the Ohio wilderness. It was late 
at night ; the stars were out, and the moon was 
down ; but by the fire-light that came through 
the window he saw his mother kneeling before 
an open book which lay on a chair in the cor- 
ner. She was reading ; but h^r eyes were off 
the page, looking up to the Invisible. "Oh, 
turn unto me," she said, " agid have mercy upon 
me! give Thy strength unto Thy servant, and 
save the son of Thine handmaidJ" More she 
read, which sounded like a prayer; but this is all 
that the boy remembers. He opened the door, 
put his arm about her neck, and his head upon 
her bosom. What words he said I do not know ; 
but there, by her side, he devoted to God the 
life which God had given. So the mother's 
prayer was answered. So sprang up the seed 
which in toil and tears she had planted. 



But though young Garfield had fully deter- 
mined to lead a better life, he had not yet de- 
cided what that life should be. 'With the good 
seed which had been implanted by his mother 
had come up the weeds which were sown in his 
mind by the " choice " books in the black-salter's 
library, and they conld not be extirpated in a 
day. His passion for the sea still clung to 
him ; and now and then, during the few follow- 
ing weeks, he would recur to it to his mother, 
and give vent to his longing for a free life upon 
the ocean. She gently opposed this. With sweet, 
winning words she tried to lead his mind to high- 
er aims, and in a measure she succeeded; but 
again and again he would recur to it, for he 
did not see then, and did not know till many 
years afterward the agony his words caused her. 
But God had higher work for him. He soon 
took him in hand, and so it was that he was re- 
served for a more honorable career. • « 

His life on the canal had planted the seeds of 



ague in his system, and now he was prostrated 
with the "ague cake,"as the "natives" call the 
hardness in the left side which accompanies that 
disease. An old-time physician was called in, 
who salivated him, and for several weary months 
he lay upon his bed, while the "ague cake," as 
they said, was dissolving under the influence of 
talomel. During these weary months his moth- 
er cared for him with tender watchfulness ; and 
when, tired of the tedious conKnement, he would 
express his longing to be about; again, and at 
bis work, she would say, in her sweet, quiet 
way: "You are sick, my son. If you go back 
to the canal, I fear you will be taken down 
again. I have thought it over. It seems to me 
you had better go to school this spring, and then, 
with a term in the fall, you may be able to teach 
next winter. If you teach winters, and work on 
the canal or lake summers, you will have em- 
ployment the year round." 

Thus the wise woman lured him gradually 
away from his infatuation, and as he thought it 
over in his broken condition, what she proposed 
seemed to him not a bad plan. He intimated 
as much to her, and then she said to him, "Your 
money is all gone ; but your brother Thomas and 
I will be able to raise seventeen dollars for you 
to start to school on, and when that is gone, per- 
haps you can get along on your own resources." 

The mother's arguments were fortunately sec- 
onded by those of a young acquaintance. Teach- 
ing the district school at this time was a young 
man by the name of Bates, and he came to see 
young Garfield in his illness. He had attended 
the " Geauga Seminary," in the adjoining coun- 
ty, and his conversation soon so fired the sick 
boy's ambition that he determined to listen to 
the entreaties of his mother, give up forever the 
idea of becoming a sailor, and attempt to secure 
an education. On this he was now fully resolved, 
but he was not equally decided as to his ulti- 
mate choice of a profession. He knew he could 
make a creditable mechanic or merchant, but 
had be braip enough to become distinguished as 
a lawyer, a scholar, or a preacher? — and it was 
to an honorable position in one of these learned 
professions that his mother had tried to lift his 
ambition. With that nice perception of the re- 
lation of means to ends which still distinguishes 
him, young Garfield now sought to measure his 
powers, and ascertain for what walk in life he 
was best fitted by natural ability. To this end 
he consulted Dr. J. P. Eobison, now a resident 
of Cleveland, but then a prominent physician in 
the neighboring village of Bedford. The doctor 
was on a visit at tift house of President Hayden, 
of Hiram College, and hearing of it, the home- 
spun boy called there for an interview. He was 
rather shabbily clad, in coarse satinet trousers, 
far outgrown, and reaching only half-way down 
the tops of his cowhide boots ; a waistcoat much 
too short, and a threadbare coat whose sleeves 
went only a little below the elbows. Surmount- 
ing the whole was a coarse slouched hat, much 
the worse for wear; and as the lad removed it, 
in making his obeisance to the physician, he dis- 
played a heavy shock of unkempt yellow hair 
that fell half-way down his shouldeis. 

"He was wonderfully awkward," says the 
good doctor, "but had a sort of independent, 
go-as-you-please manner that impressed me fii- 

" Who are you?" was Ms somewhat gruff sal- 

"My name is James Garfiel^, from Solon," 
replied the latter. 

" Oh, I know your mother, and knew you 
when yon were a babe in arms ; but you have 
outgrown my knowledge. I am glad to see 

"I want to see you alone," said young Gar- 

The doctor led the way to a secluded spot in 
the neighborhood of the house, and there, sitting 
down on a log, the youth, after a little hesitation, 
opened his business. 

"You are a physician," he said, "and know 
the fibre that is in men. Examine me, and tell 
me with the utmost frankness whether I had 
better take a course of liberal study. I am con- 
templating doing so. My desire is in that di- 

rection. But, if I am to make a failure of it, or 
practically so, I do not desiie to begin. If you 
advise me not to do so, I shall feel content." 

In speaking of this incident, the doctor has re- 
marked, recently, "I felt that I was on my sa- 
cred honor, and the young man looked as though 
he felt himself on trial. I had had considerable 
experience as a physician, but here was a case 
much different from any other I had ever had. 
I felt that it must be handled with great care. I 
examined his head, and saw that there was a mag- 
nificent brain there. I sounded his lungs, and 
found that they were strong, and capable of making 
good blood. I felt his pulse, and saw that there 
was an engine capable of sending the blood up 
to the head to feed the brain. I had seen many 
strong physical systems with warm feet, but cold, 
sluggish brain ; and those who possessed such sys- 
tems would simply sit around and doze. There- 
fore I was anxious to know about the kind of an 
engine to run that delicate machine, the brain. 
At the end of a fifteen minutes' careful examina- 
tion of this kind, we rose, and I said, ' Go on, 
follow the leadings of your ambition, and ever 
after I am your friend. You have the brain of a 
Webster, and you have the physical proportions 
that will back you in the most herculean efforts. 
All you need to do is to work. Work hard — do 
not be afraid of overworking — and you will make 
your mark.'" 

These words fixed the lad's waveiing resolu- 
tion, and gave him a definite purpose, from which 
he never afterward swerved. "It is a great 
point gained," he wrote in after-life, "when a 
young man makes up his mind to devote several 
years to the accomplishment of a definite work." 
He had gained this point, and thenceforward, 
for nine years, amidst innumerable difficulties, 
this homespun lad of sixteen pursued his end 
till he was graduated at twenty-five with the high- 
est honors of an Eastern institution. 

He now took the seventeen dollars his mother 
had offered him — the only money he ever received 
to aid him in securing an education which he has 
not fully repaid — for how can a son ever pay what 
he owes to a mother — and accompanied by a cous- 
in and another young man from this neighboring 
village, and supplied by his nlother with a few 
pots, frying-pans, and dinner-plates, he set out for 
Chester, where the academy was located. The 
three young men rented a room in an old un- 
painted building near the academy, and with 
their cooking utensils, a few dilapidated chairs, 
loaned by a kindly neighbor, and some straw 
ticks, which they spread upon the floor to sleep 
on, they set up house-keeping — for they were too 
poor to pay board as well as tuition. 

Young Garfield's heart was now in his work. 
He studied hard, progressed rapidly, and soon 
distanced many competitors who had enjoyed far 
better advantages. Mornings and evenings, and 
Saturdays, he worked in the carpenters' shops in 
the village, and thus managed to earn enough to 
pay for his living when his motlier's seventeen 
dollars were expended. After this he paid his 
own way, never calling on Thomas or his moth- 
er for further assistance. He worked hard ; but 
he had most excellent health, a robust frame, 
and he acquired knowledge easily ; so that this 
combined mental and physical toil, which has 
broken down many an ambitious youth, did not 
tell on his splendid constitution. 

When the summer vacation came, he took a 
job of chopping a hundred cords of wood for 
twenty-five dollars, and with the fund thus real- 
ized he was in the fall able to board with one of 
the neighboring families, and so dispense with 
the drudgeiy of house-keeping. The price he 
paid for board, washing, and lodging was one 
dollar and six cents per week. His landlady was 
a Mrs. Stiles, m»ther to the present sheriff of 
Ashtabula County ; and after Garfield had be- 
come somewhat distinguished, she was fond of 
relating an incident connected with his residence 
in her family. The young man was without 
overcoat or underclothing, and had only one suit 
of clothes, and those were of cheap Kentucky 
jean. Toward the close of the term his trousers 
had worn exceedingly thin at the knees, and on 
an occasion when he was bending forward, they 
tore half-way round the leg, exposing his bare 

knee to view. The mortified young man pinned 
the rent garment together as well as he could, 
and to the family that night bewailed his pover- 
ty, and his inability to remedy the misfortune to 
his only pair of trousers. " Why, that is easy 
enough," said the good Mrs. Stiles. "You go 
to bed, and one of the boys will biing down your 
trousers, and I will darn the hole so it will be 
better than new. You shouldn't care for such 
small matters. You will forget all about them 
when you get to be President." 

The good lady is still alive to see her predic- 
tion verified. 

It was during this fall term at Geauga Acad- 
eihy that the penniless student met the young 
woman who, to use an expression of the novel- 
ists, was to be his destiny. Her name was Lucre- 
tia Rudolph, and she was the daughter of a farm- 
er in the neighborhood — "a quiet, thoughtful 
girl," says one who knew her, "of singularly 
sweet and refined disposition, fond of study and 
reading, and possessing a warm heart, and a 
mind capable of steady growth." It was years 
before the lives of the two young people were 
united; but from this time foi-ward she exerted a 
marked influence upon the boy student, inspiring 
him to even harder work, and a firmer resolve 
to act a manly part in the world's struggle. 

At the end of this term he was sufficiently 
progressed in his studies — English Grammar, 
Natural Philosophy, Arithmetic, and Algebra — 
to teach a district school, and thus, by teaching, 
and working at carpentry of evenings and dur- 
ing vacations, he not only managed to pay his 
expenses at the academy, but to lay by a small 
fund toward carrying him through a collegiate 
course, on which he had now fully resolved to 
enter. At length, after three years of alternate 
work and study, he left the academy, and went 
to the Eclectic Institute, a collegiate school lo- 
cated at Hiram, in Portage County, and there he 
entered on a higher course of study. 

Hiram College, which will hereafter be long 
associated with the name of Garfield, had been 
built during this year (1851), and he was among 
the first students of the Institution. His first 
presentation of himself to the Board ofTrustees, 
as related by Mr. Frederick Williams, one of the 
number, is characteristic, and therefore worth 

"The Board was in session with closed doors," 
says Mr. Williams, "when the door-keeper en- 
tered and said there ws^s a young man at the 
door very desirous of seeing the Board without 
delay. No objections being made, the young 
man entered, and addressing the Board, said, 

" Gentlemen, I want an education, and would 
like the privilege of making the fires and sweep- 
ing the floors of the building to pay part of my 
expenses. " 

Mr. Williams, seeing in his bearing and coun- 
tenance an earnestness and intelligence that was 
more than common, said to the Board, "Gen- 
tlemen, I think we had better try this young 
man." Another member said to him, "How 
do we know, young man, that the work will be 
done as we' may want ?" 

"Try me," was the answer; "try me two 
weeks, and if it is not done to your entire satis- 
faction, I will retire without a word." 

They took him at his word ; and so Garfield, 
at the age of nineteen, was duly installed as jan- 
itor and bell-ringer of the institution over which 
he was afterward to preside, and whose prosper- 
ity he was to be largely instrumental in advanc- 
ing. Of Garfield's student -life at this time a 
better idea can be had from the following ac- 
count by a fellow-student than from any more 
elaborate description. She is a lady, now resid- 
ing in Illinois, and was among the first stu- 
dents at Hiram. "When he first entered the 
college," she writes, "he paid for his schooling 
by doing janitor's work, sweeping the floor and 
ringing the bell. I can see him even now stand- 
ing in the morning with his hand on the bell- 
rope, ready to give the signal calling teachers 
and scholars to engage in the duties of the day. 
As we passed by, entering the school-room, he 
had a cheerful word for every one. He was 
probably the most popular person in the insti- 
tution. He was always good-natured, fond 



of conversation, and very entertaininf;. He 
was witty, and qaick at repartee, but his jokes, 
tiiough brilliant and strilcing, were always harm- 
less, and he never would willingly hurt another's 

"Afterward he became an assistant teacher, 
and while pursuing his classical studies, prepara- 
tory to his college course, he taught the English 
branches. He was a most entertaining teach- 
er — ^^I'eady with illustrations, and possessing in a 
marked degree the power Of exciting the inter- 
est of the scholars, and afterward making clear 
to them the lessons. In the arithmetic class 
thei-e were ninety pupils, and I cannot recol- 
lect a time when there was any flagging in the 
intei-est. There were never any cases of unruly 
conduct, or a disposition to shirk. With schol- 
ars who were slow of comprehension, or to whom 
recitations were a burden, on account of their 
modest or retiring disposition, he was special- 
ly attentive, and by encouraging words and gen- 
Ue assistance wonld manage to put all at their 
ease, and awaken in them a confidence in them- 
selves. He was not given much to amusements 
or the sports of the playground. He was too 
industrious, and too anxious to make the utmost 
of his opportunities to study. 

" He was a constant attendant at the regular 
meetings for prayer, and his vigorous exhorta- 
tions and apt remarks upon the Bible lesson 

of the forest. He would repeat poetry by the 
hour, having a very retentive memory. At the 
Institute the members were like a band of broth- 
ers and sisters, nil struggling to advance in knowl- 
edge. They all dressed plainly, and there was 
no attempt or pi-etence at dressing fashionably 
or stylishly. Hiram was a little country place, 
with no ^iscinations or worldly attractions to 
draw off the minds of the students from their 
work. Two churches, the post-ofSce, one store, 
and a blacksmith's shop, with the college build- 
ings, constituted the village. " 

The lady adds that the present nomination of 
General Garfield was a surprise to her, although 
for years she had thought she should some day 
see his name brought out as a candidate for the 
Presidency. ' "He is," she says, "a man who, 
in the belief of any one who ever knew him, 
could not be corrupted, and who considers his 
honor above his life." 

While a student at Hiram College, Garfield 
connected himself with the " Church of the Dis- 
ciples " — a sect founded by Alexander Campbell, 
one of the most extraordinary men of our time. 
This Church has a large membership in West 
Virginia, Kentucky, and Southern and Eastern 
Ohio. "Its principal peculiarities are its refus- 
al to formulate its beliefs into a creed, the inde- 
pendence of each denomination, the hospitality 
and fraternal feeling of the members, and the 

conscience of his audience when all his rivals 

Father Bentley, a man widely known and 
loved throughout the Western Reserve, was at 
this time pastor of the Church of the Disciples 
at Hiram. He early conceived a strong affec- 
tion for young Garfield, and, seeing his talents 
as a speaker, often asked him to address the 
week-day assemblies of his congregation. He 
soon went farther, and requested him, in accord- 
ance with the liberal usages of the Disciples, to 
officiate, in his absence, at its Sunday gather- 
ings. This young Garfield did frequently, and 
he kept up the pYactice during his whole con- 
nection with the college, which finally led the 
outside public to regard and speak of him as a 
minister of the' Gospel. For this position hie 
pure character and remarkable abilities emi- 
nently fitted him ; but he never filled it, and 
never intended to fill it. He early intended to 
enter the legal profession, and this he finally 
did, pursuing his studies while continuing his 
collegiate course, and being admitted to the 
Bar during his presidency of Hiram College. 

Of Father Bentley a little anecdote is related 
which shows his estimate, at this early time, of 
young Garfield's character and abilities. It was 
at an evening meeting of his church, and the 
young man was with him on the platform, wait- 
ing to take his accustomed part in the evening's 


were impressive and interesting. There was a 
cordiality in his disposition which won quickly 
the fovor and esteem of others. He had a hap- 

£j habit of shaking hands, and would give a 
eorty grip which betokened » kind-hearted 
feeling for all. He was always ready to turn 
his mind and hands in any direction whereby 
he might add to his meagre store of money. 
One of his gifts was that of mezzotint drawing, 
and he gave instracdon in this branch. I was 
one of his pupils in this, and have now the pict- 
ure of a cross npon which he did some shading 
and put on the finishing touches. Upon the 
margin is written, in the hand of the noted 
teacher, his own name and his pupil's. There 
are also two otlier drawings, one of a large Eo- 
Topean bird on the bough of a tree, and the other 
a church-yard scene in winter, done by him at 
that time. In those days the fiicnlty and pupils 
were in the habit of calling him ' the second 
Welister,' and the remark was common, 'He 
will fill die White House yet.' In the Lyceum 
he early took rank far above the others as a 
speaker and debater. 

"During the month of Jnne the entire school 
went in caniages to their annual grove meeting 
at Randolph, some twenty-five miles away. On 
this trip he was the life of the party, occasional- 
ly bursting out in an eloquent strain at the sight 
of a bird or a trailing vine, or a venerable giant 

lack of any regular ministry." The Scriptures 
are accepted without note or comment, and any 
member can address the assemblies. Garfield, 
who never does anything by halves, entered 
heartily into the work of this communion, and 
soon became one of the most prominent mem- 
bers of the church at Hiram. He was now 
twenty, and this was his first school as a pub- 
lic speaker. He spoke in die meetings of the 
society, and in a short time developed that un- 
usual power over an audience which still dis- 
tinguishes him, and he soon became known for 
many miles around as the most eloquent young 
man in the county. He is a born orator, and 
his speeches at this early period displayed the 
same characteristics that hare in later years 
made him so widely famous. Says one who 
has often heard him, "As a popular speaker 
he has very few equals : even his scholarly and 
thoughtful manner is forgiven him in view of his 
earnestness, directness, and honesty of speech. 
He does not stab his opponents whenever he de- 
tects a weak place in their armor, and then play 
with the wonnds he has succeeded in making. 
He indulges in no fantastic or overstrained 
flights of exaggerated rhetoric ; and he wants, 
also, the nervous energy, the word-and-a-blow 
manner which sometimes makes other speakers 
so effecuve. But he is none the less a very suc- 
cessful orator, and wins his way to the &vor and 

exereises, when a political associate entered aad 
took him away to address a political gathering. 
The good elder did not at once notice the young 
man's withdrawal, but when he did, and when die 
young man was half-way down the aisle, he called 
to him not to go ; then quickly checking himself, 
he said to the tmngregation, " Never minO, let 
him go ; that boy will yet be President of the 
United States." • 

During his second term at the Eclectic Insd- 
tute, and while acdng as one of the tutors, Gar- 
field had, as one of his pupils, the young lady 
whom he had become intei'ested in at Chester, 
and who subsequently became his wife. It was 
also at this dme that he became acquainted with 
Miss Almeda A. Booth, one of the teachers of the 
institnUon ; a woman of great ability, and who 
had a marvellous influence in forming his intel- 
lectual character. He never speaks of her even 
now but with strong expressions of veneration, 
and he still regards her as intellectually the great- 
est woman — not excepting Margaret Fuller — that 
this country has produced. She was only nine 
years his senior ; but she concentrated upon him 
all the impassioned foree of a strong maternal 
soul, and she led him to intellectual heights sd- 
dom trnd by any but the highest intellects. " I 
never met the man,'' he once said to the writer, 
" whose mind I feared to grapple with ; but this 
woman could lead where I found it hard to follow." 



She not only guided his studies, but she shared 
in them as a comrade and coworker ; and a friend 
relates how she sat with him after school one 
night, talking up a thesis he was preparing for 
an exhibition day, both so supremely absorbed 
in the work that neither realized the night had 
worn away till the morning light came breaking 
through the window. This woman had more in- 
fluence in forming his intellectual character than 
any one he ever met, except that great and good 
man, President Hopkins. She died in 1875, and 
the tribute which Garfield paid to her memory is 
one of the most eloquent things, he has* ever spo* 
ken or written. 

He remained a student at Hiram about three 
years, and by the close of this period had fitted 
himself to pass examination for the junior class 
at college. By alternating work with study, he 
had laid byabout half enough to carry him through 
a two years' collegiate course, and it was an in- 
teresting question how he should provide for the 
remainder. And now the reputation he had es- 
tablished for integrity, industry, and persistency 
of purpose stood him in good stead. The sum 
needed was several hundred dollars, but a kind- 
hearted gentleman, who had watched his course, 
volunteered to loan him the required amount, to 
be advanced from time to time, when it was need- 
ed. To secure the advance, Garfield took out a 
policy of insurance on his life ; and as he placed 
it in the hands of the worthy gentleman, he said, 
" If I live, I shall pay you ; and if I die, you will 
suffer no loss." This kind gentleman is still liv- 
ing, and still one of the warmest of General Gar- 
field's fiiends. 

' ' Pecuniary difficulties thus dispcsed of, he was 
ready to start. But where ? He had originally 
intended to attend Bethany College, the institu- 
tion sustained by the church of which he was a 
member, and presided over by Alexander Camp- 
bell, the man above all others whom he had been 
taught to admire and revere. But as study and 
experience had enlarged his vision, he had come 
to see that there were better institutions outside 
the limits of his peculiar sect. A familiar letter 
of his, written about this time, from which a for- 
tunate accident enables 'is to quote, shall tell us 
bow he reasoned and acted : 

' ' ' There are three reasons why I have decided 
not to go to Bethany : 1st. The course of study 
is not so extensive or thorough as in Eastern 
colleges. 2d. Bethany leans too heavily toward 
slavery. 3d. I am the son of Disciple parents, 
am one myself, and have had but little acquaint- 
ance with people of other views; and having al- 
ways lived in the West, I think it will make me 
more liberal, both in my religious and general 
views and sentiments, to go into a new circle, 
where I shall be under new influences. These 
considerations led me to conclude to go to some 
New England college. I therefore wrote to the 
Presidents of Brown University, Yale, and Wil- 
liams, setting forth the amount of study I had 
done, and asking how long it would take me to 
finish their course. 

" ' Their answers are now before me. All tell 
me J can graduate in two years. They are all 
brief, business notes, but President Hopkins con- 
dudes with this sentence, 'If you come here we 
shall be glad to do what we can for you.' Other 
things being so nearly equal, this sentence, which 
seems to be a kind of friendly grasp of the hand, 
has settled the question for me. I shall start for 
Williams next week.' 

"Some points in this letter of a young man 
about to start away from home to college will 
strike the reader as remarkable. Nothing could 
show more mature judgment about the matter in 
hand than the wise anxiety to get out from the 
Disciples' influence, aijd see something of other 
men and other opinions. It was notable that 
one trained to look upon Alexander Campbell 
as the master intellect of the churches of the day, 
should revolt against studying in his college be- 
cause it leaned too strongly toward slavery. 
And in the final turning of the decision upon the 
little friendly commonplace that closed one of 
the letters, we catcli a glimpse of the warm sym- 
pathetic nature of the man, which much and wide 
experience of the world in after -years has never 

"So, in the fallof 1854, the pupil of the Geauga 
Seminary and of the Hiram Institute applied for 
admission at the venerable doors of Williams 
College. He knew no graduate of the College, 
and no student attending it ; and of the Presi- 
dent he only knew that he had published a vol- 
ume of lectures which he liked, and that he had 
said a kindly word to him when he spoke of 

"The Western carpenter and village school- 
teacher received many a shock in the new sphere 
in which he now entered. On every hand he 
was made to feel the social superiority of his fel- 
low-students. Their ways were free from the 
little awkward habits of the untrained laboring 
youth. Their speech was free from the uncouth 
phrases of the provincial circles in which he had 
moved. Their toilets made the handiwork of 
his village tailor look sadly shabby. Their free- 
handed expenditures contrasted strikingly with 
his enforced parsimony. To some tough-fibred 
hearts these would have been only petty annoy- 
ances ; to the warm, social, generous mind of 
young Garfield they seem, from more than one 
indication of his college life that we can gath- 
er, to have been a source of positive anguish. 
But he bore bravely up, maintained the advance 
standing in the junior class to which he had been 
admitted on his arrival, and at the end of his 
two years course bore off the metaphysical honor 
of his class, reckoned at Williams among the 
highest within the gift of the institution to her 
graduating members."* 

By those who knew Garfield at this time he 
is described as a tall, awkward youth, with a 
great shock of light hair rising nearly erect 
from a broad, high forehead, and an open, kind- 
ly, and thoughtful face, which showed no traces 
of his long struggle with poverty and privation. 
His classmates still speak of his prodigious in- 
dustry, his cordial, hearty, and social ways, and 
the great zest with which he entered into all the 
physical exercises of the students. He soon be- 
came distinguished as the most ready and ef- 
fective debater in the college, and one occasion 
on which he displayed these peculiar abilities is 
specially mentioned. Charles Sumner had been 
stricken down in the Senate-chamber by Brooks 
of South Carolina, and the news reaching the 
college, caused great excitement among the stu- 
dents. An indignation meeting was that even- 
ing held among them, and, mounting the plat- 
form, Garfield — so says my informstnt, who was 
himself one of the students — delivered "one of 
the most impassioned and eloquent speeches that 
was ever heard in old Williams. " 

There are many anecdotes afloat of Garfield's 
wielding the saw and jack-plane while he was a 
student at Williams College, but all these are in- 
correct ; though he did fill up his vacations by 
teaching in the neighboring towns and villages, 
and it is true that he taught penmanship one 
winter at North Pownal, and in the same room 
where the present candidate for the Vice-presi- 
dency had, two winters before, taught the com- 
mon English branches. The Eev. T. Brooks, a 
respected minister of the Disciples' Church, re- 
lates meeting Garfield at this time at Poestenkill. 
"I forifled an intimate acquaintance with him," 
he writes, "and admired his genial, manly, and 
pleasant ways. Shortly afterward, there being 
a vacancy in the Higli School in Troy, and hav- 
ing an influence by which I could secure it for a 
friend, I offered it to Garfield, well knowing his 
financial needs. After listening to my enumera- 
tion of the advantages of taking the vacant posi- 
tion, he rose, and, with a flush of animation and 
decision, said, ' Brother Brooks, this is exceed- 
ingly tempting, and l thank you, but it has been 
the ambition and struggle of my life to win an 
honorable diploma from some Eastern college, 
for then I can hold it in the face of the world, 
and win honor and distiuction. I cannot ac- 
cept the alluring offer.' " 

At this very time Giirfield was so sadly sti'ait- 
ened for money that he had to run into debt for 

* The above extract is quoted from an admirable 
sketch of General Gai-fleld in Whitelaw Reid's "Ohio 
in the War," a Ixtok which every one should read who 
would know the li\rjj:e array of emiueiit men Ohio has 
given to the cunutry during the present generation. 

a suit of clothes,* and was uncertain if he might 
not be obliged to leave college, and resort tempora- 
rily to the carpenter's bench to obtain the requisite 
funds to finish his collegiate course. His good 
Portage County friend had fallen into embarrass- 
ments, and could no longer continue his remit- 
tances. At first Garfield was at a loss what to 
do, or which way to turn, but then he wrote to 
the kind-hearted Dr. Eobison, who had five years 
before passed so favorable a judgment on his 
physical and mental powers. The good Doctor 
at once remitted him the required sum, and add- 
ed a request that he would call on him for more 
whenever it was needed. Garfield did occasion- 
ally draw on him from that time till the end of 
his collegiate course. t 

In 1856 Garfield was graduated, bearing off, 
as has been said, the metaphysical honor of his 
class. He was now twenty-five ; and as the re- 
sult of his constant, self-denying toil of nearly 
twenty years, he had a collegiate education, a 
few threadbare clothes, a score or more of col- 
lege text-books, his diploma, and a debt of four 
hundred and fifty dollars. But, being in excel- 
lent health, and strong and active, mentally and 
physically, he was splendidly accoutred for the 
work of life, and not long in finding a field for 
his activities. He was at once elected teach- 
er of Latin and Greek in the college at Hiram. 
The college was poor and in debt, but Garfield 
threw all his energies into the work of building 
it up on a solid foundation. He soon became 
distinguished as a teacher ; and students from 
far and near flocked to Hiram. 

In 1858, while teacher of Latin and Greek at 
Hiram, Garfield was married to Miss Lucretia 
Rudolph, his former pupil at Hiram, and school- 
mate at Chester Academy ; and she soon proved 
herself a most efficietit helpmate in his studies and 
college duties. His life now was a most hiborious 
one, and he has often said that he could not 

* The mud-slingers have warmed up to their work 
snfiiciently to charge General Garfield with refusing 
to pay for these cIothcB until he had been dunued a 
number of times. The Troy Press, eager to do Bome 
of the dirty work of the cauvaes, leuds itself to the 
buBiuesB, but in its haste it makes the blunder of 
uamlug the man who made the clothes. Q'he latter 
gentleman, Peter S. Haskell by name, publishes a card 
in The Troy Times deJiyiug the story in this concise 
way; "It is true I made a suit of clothes for Mr. Gar- 
field when he was preaching and teaching in Foesten- 
kill, in this countjr. He was then a poor young man, , 
struggliug to obtaiu an education. Oue of my custom- 
ers came to me and said, ' There is a youug man in 
the village who wants a suit of clothes. He canuot 
pay. for them now, but you will get your money. Will 
you make them for him f ' 1 replied that I would. In 
a day or two Mr. Garfield came iu, told me his cir- 
cumstances and the amount of time he would require 
to pay for the clothes. In exact accordance with his 
agreement he paid me, and I did not have to jog his 
memory in order to get my money. I regard James 
A. Garfield as an honest and truthful mau, and I am 
very sorry to see thus early in the campaign an effort 
made to impeach his character." 

t President Chidbonine, of Williams College, said 
recently, "The college life of General Garflfld was 
so perfect, so rounded, so pure, so in accordance with 
what it ought to be in all respects, that I can add noth- 
ing to it by eulogizing him. It was a noble college 
life; there are no stories to be told of General Gar- 
field as a college student. On the contrary, everything 
about him was high aud noble and manly ; the man 
in college gave promise of what the man is to-day. 
And so, when some charges weie made against him 
some years ago, I wrote to General Garfield, and have 
said in speeches since that time, that when n youu» 
man goes through a college coarse without exhibit- 
ing a mean or dishonest trait, and then goes out aud 
lives BO as to impress upon other meu the idea that 
he has been true at all times and in all places, it will 
take a great deal of proof to convince me that that 
man has forsalten the path he trod so long. And I 
have aeon nothing to shake my confidence iu General 
Garfield from the day he entered college until to-day, 
as he stands up before the people as a candidate for 
President of the Uuited States." 

When the news of Garlteld's nomination was re- 
ceived at the college, the wildest enthusiasm prevail- 
ed among the students. A Garfield clnD was formed 
m ten miuntes, and the Btudenis paraded the streets. 
President Chadbounie made them a brief address, 

^?5"",.S),"-*-" ™^ ^"'■''^ *'"'" ^^ "^^^ '" niaking'speechea 
this fal . It seems bat a few days since I used to call 
General Garfield up to recite, and he never fiuuked. 
When the Duke of Wellington visited Ktoii College, 
after the battle of Waterloo, he said, ' Boys, the vic- 
tory of Waterloo was won upon this ground,' aud 
80 the foundation of Garflpld's Buccessfurnominntioa 
was laid upon this ground." The words of President 
Chadbourne, oue of the best and purest men in the 
laud, show how General Garfield is regarded by all 
who know him welL 



have gone througli with liis work wicoout her 
aid, nnd that of his accomplished friend, Miss 
Ahiiedii Booth. At one time hedelivered a course 
of lectures on geology, held debates on subjects 
of public interest, spoke frequently on Sunday, 
and heard the recitations of five or six classes 
every day, besides attending to all the financial 
affairs of the college, and studying for admission 
to the Bar. But these glorious women followed 
him in all his studies, and shared his labors. 
When he had speeches to make, or lectures to 
deliver,they would ransack the library by day, 
collecting fiicts, and marking books ibr reference 
to be, at night, used iu the preparation of his 
discourses. He displayed striking literary abili- 
ties, and some of his productions at this time 
were of a very high order. His mirid retained 
and digested easily all that he read, and, like 
Macaulay, he was an omnivorous reader of his- 
tory and genei-al literature. He was, iu short, a 
marvel of application and industry ; and so pop- 
ular did he become, that at the end of the year 
he was made President of the College — a posi- 
tion which he held till the outbreak of the war. 

The college soon felt the effects of his won- 
derful industry. It soon entei-ed upon a career 
of prosperity, and won a high rank among West- 
ern educational institutions. Of Garfield's meth- 
ods as an etiucator, one of his pupils, the Rev. 
J. L. Darsie, of Danbury, Connecticut, gives the 
following testimony : 

" I attended, " he writes, " the Western Reserve 
Institute when Garfield was Principal, and I 
rec.ill vividly his method of teaching. He took 
very kindly to me, and assisted me in various 
ways, because I was poor and was janitor of the 
bnildings, and swept them out in the morning 
and built the fires, as he had done only six years 
before, when he was a pupil at the same college. 
He was full of animal spirits, and nsed to run 
out on the green almost eveiy day and play crick- 
et with his scholars. He was a tall, strong man, 
but dreadfully awkward. Every now and then 
he would get a hit, and he mu&d his ball and 
lost his hat as a regular thing. He was left- 
handed, too, and that made him seem all the 
clumsier. Bnt he was most powerful and very 
quick, and it was easy for ns to undei-stand how 
it was that he had acquired the reputation of 
whipping all the other mnle-drivers on the cannl, 
and of making himself the hero of that thorough- 
fare when he followed its tow-path tea years ear- 

" No matter how old the pupils wei-e, Garfield 
alwiiys called ns by our first names, and kept 
himself on the most familiar terms with all. He 
played with as freely, and we treated him oat 
of the class-room just about as we did one anoth- 
ei-. Yet he was a most strict disciplinarian, and 
enforced the rules like a martinet. He com- 
bined an affectionate and confiding manner with 
respect for order in a most saccessfal manner. 
If he wanted to speak to a pupil, either for re- 
proof or approbation, he would generally manage 
to get one arm around him and draw him close 
ap to him. He had a peculiar way of shaking 
hands, too, giving a twist to your arm and draw- 
ingyoQ right up to him. This sympathetic man- 
ner has helped him to advancement. When I 
was janitor, he used sometimes to stop me and 
ask my opinion about this and that, as if serious- 
ly advising with me. I can see now that my 
opinion could not have been of any value, and 
that he probably asked me partly to increase 
my self-respect, and partly to show me that he 
felt an interest in me. I certainly was his friend 
all the firmer for it. 

"I remember once asking him what was the 
best ^vay to pursue a certain study, and he said, 
' Use several text-books. Get the views of dif- 
ferent authoi-s as yoa advance. In that way yon 
can plough a broader furrow. I always study in 
that way.' He tried hard to teach us to observe 
carefully and accurately. He broke ont one day 
in the midst of a lesson with, ' Henry, how many 
posts are there under the building down-stairs ?' 
Henry expressed his opinion, and the question 
went around the class, hardly any one getting it 
right. Then it was, ' How many boot-scrapers 
are there at the door V ' How many windows in 
the building?' ' How many trees in the field ?' 

What were the colors of different rooms, and the 
peculiarities of any familiar objects. He was 
the keenest observer I evei- saw. 1 think he no- 
ticed and numbered every button on our coats. 
A friend of mine was walking with him through 
Cleveland one day, when Garfield stopped and 
darted down a. cellar-way, asking his companion 
to follow, and briefly pausing to explain himself. 
The sign 'Saws and Files' was over the door, 
and in the depths was heard a regular clicking 
sound., ' I think this fellow is cutting files, said 
he, ' and I have never seen a file cut. ' Down 
they went, and, sure enongh, there was a man 
recutting an old file, and they stayed ten minutes 
and found out all about the process. Garfield 
would never go by anything without underetand- 
■ing it. 

"Mr. Garfield was very fond of lecturing to 
the school. He spoke two or three times a week, 
on all manner of topics, generally scientific, 
though sometimes literary or historical. He 
spoke with great freedom, never writing ont what 
he had to say, and I now think that his lectures 
were a rapid compilation of his current reading, 
and that he threw it into this form partly for 
the purpose of impressing it on his own mind, 
tiis fhcility of speech was learned when he was 
a pupil at Hiram. The societies had, a rule that 
every student should take his stand on the plat- 
form and speak for five minutes on any topic 
suggested at the moment by the audience. It 
was a vei'y trying ordeal. Garfield broke down 
ibadly tlie first two times he tried to speak, bat 
persisted, and was at last, when he went to Wil- 
liams, one of the best of the five-minute speak- 
ers. When he returned as Principal, his readi- 
ness was striking and remarkable." 

Another of his pupils, Henry James, writes as 
follows, speaking of him at this period : 

"There began to grow np in me an admira- 
tion and love for Garfield that has never abated, 
and the like of which I have never known. A 
bow cf recognition, or a single word from him, 
was to me an inspiration. Garfield taught me 
more than any other man, living or dead ; and 
proud as I am of his record as a soldier and a 
statesman, I can hardly forgive him for abandon- 
ing the academy for tlie field and the forum." 

To the same puiport is the following from 
President Hinsdale, Garfield's successor in the 
college at Hiram, and one of his former pupils : 

"My real acquaintance with Garfield," he 
writes, "did not begin until the fiiU of 1856, 
when he returned from Williams College. He 
then found me ont, drew near to me, and entered 
into all my troubles and difficulties pertaining to 
questions of the future. In a greater or less de- 
gree this was true of his relations to his pupils 
generally. There ai'e hundreds of these men 
and women scattered over the world to-day who 
cannot find language strong enough to express 
their feeling in contemplating Garfield as their 
old instructor, ad\iser, and friend. Since 1856 
my relations with him have been as close and 
confidential as they could be with any man, and 
much closer and more confidential than they 
have been with any other man. I do not say 
that it would be possible for me to know any- 
body better than I know him, and I kqow that 
he possesses all the great elements of character 
in an extraordinary degree. His interest in hu- 
manity has always been as broad as humanity 
itself, while his lively interest in young men and 
women, especially if they were struggling in nar- 
row circumstances to obtain an education, is a 
characteristic known as widely over the world 
as the footsteps of Hiram boys and girls have 
wandered. The help that he fui-nished hun- 
dreds in the way of suggestions, teaching, en- 
couragement, inspiration, and stimulus, was most 
valuable. I have repeatedly said that, as re- 
spects myself, I am more indebted to him for all 
that I am, and for what I hAve done in the in- 
tellectual field, than to any other man that ever 
lived. His power over students was not so 
much that of a drill-master or disciplinarian as 
that of one who was able to inspire and energize 
young people by his own intellectual and moral 

In the course of a lecture delivei-ed at the 
College on the day following Garfield"^ nomina- 

tion, this same gentleman read a letter from his 
former preceptor, dated as far back as 1857, 
which siiould be read and pondered by every 
young man in the country. 

He said that in the fall of 1856 he had left 
the Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College, in 
great distress of mind, growing out of his own 
life -questions. He had passed his nineteenth 
birthday, and the question of the future weighed 
heavily upon his mind. That winter he taught 
a district school. He had already won a friend 
in Mr. Garfield, then twenty-five years old, and 
just out of Williams College. Garfield was then 
teaching at Hiram as Professor of Ancient Lan- 
guages. In his distress of mind Hinsdale wrote 
Garfield a letter, in which he fully opened his 
mind. In reply, he received a letter that gave 
him great help. This letter, which had been re- 
ligiously preserved, might give help to some i>( 
the young men before him, the President thought 
Besides, there was peculiar propriety in his pro- 
ducing it, on account of what had taken place 
the day before in Chicago. He then proceeded 
to read from the original, yellow with age, and 
worn from repeated foldings and unfuldings, the 
following beautiful letter : 

"Hiram, Jan. 15th, 185T. 

"Mt dear Brother Burke, — I was made 
very glad a few days since by the receipt of your 
letter. It was a very acceptable New-year's 
present, and I take great pleasure in responding. 
You have given a vivid picture of a community 
in which intelligence and morality have been 
neglected, and 1 am glad you are disseminating 
the light. Certainly, men must have some 
knowledge in order to do right. God first said, 
'Let there be Ifght.' Afterward he said, 'It 
is very good.' I am glad to hear of your suc- 
cess in teaching: but I approach with much 
more interest the consideration of the question 
you have proposed. Brother mine, it is not a 
quesdon to be discussed in the spirit of debate, 
but to be thought over and prayed over as a 
question out of which are the issues of life. You 
will agree with me that every one must decide 
and direct his own course in life — and the only 
service friends can afford is to give us the data 
from which we must draw our own conclusion 
and decide onr course. Allow me, then, to sit 
beside you and look over the field of life and see 
what are its aspects. I am not one of those who 
advise every one to undertake the work of a lib- 
eral education. Indeed, I believe that in two- 
thirds of the cases such advice would be unwise. 
The great body of the people will be and ought 
to be (intelligent) fiirmers and mechanics, and in 
many respects these pass the most independent 
and happy lives. But God has endowed some 
of his children with desires and capabilities for a 
more extended field of labor and influence, and 
so every life should be shaped according to what 
the man hath. Now, in reference to yourself, I 
know you have capabilities for occupying posi- 
tions of high and impprtant trust in the scenes 
of active lifSs, and I am sure you will not call it 
flattery in me nor egotism in yourself to say so. 

"Tell me, Bai^e, do you not fed a spirit stir- 
ring within yoa that longs to know, to do, and 
to dare? to hold converse with the great world 
of thought, and hold before you some high and 
noble object to which the vigor of your mind and 
the strength of your arm may be given ? Do 
you not have longings sach as these which you 
breathe to no one, and which you feel must be 
heeded, or yoa will pass through life unsatisfied 
and regretful? I am sure you have these, and 
they will fi^rever cling around your heart until 
yoa obey their mandate. They are the voices - 
of that nature which God has ' given yon, and 
which, when obeyed, will bless you and your fel- 
low-men. Now, all this-might be true, and yet 
it might be your duty not to follow that course. 
If your duty to your father or your mother de- 
mands that yoD take another, 1 shall rejoice to 
see you taking that other coarse. The path of 
duty is where we all ought to walk, be that where 
it may ; but I sincerely hope that yon will not, 
without an earnest struggle, give up a course <^ 
liberal study. Suppose you could not begin yonr 
study again until after your majority. It will 
not be too late then, bat you will gain in many 



respects. Yoa will have more maturity of mind 
to appreciate wiiatever you may study. You 
may say you will be too old to begin the course, 
but how could you better spend the earlier days 
of life ? We should not measure life by the days 
and moments that we pass on earth. ' The life 
is measured by the soul's advance, the enlarge- 
ment of its powers, the expanded field wherein 
it ranges, till it burns and glows with heavenly 
joy, with high and heavenly hope. ' It need be 
no discouragement that you be obliged to hew 
your own way and pay your own charges. You 
can go to school two terms of every year and pay 
your own way. I know this, for I did so when 
teachers' wages were much lower than they are 
now. It is a great truth, that ' Where there is a 
will there is a way. ' It may be that by-and-by 
your father could assist you. It may be that 
even now he could, let you commence on your 
resources, so that you could begin immediately. 
Of this you know, and I do not. I need not tell 
you how glad 1 should be to assist you in your 
work. But if you cannot come to Hiram while 
I am here, I shall still hope to hear that you are 
determined to go on as soon as the time will per- 
mit. Will you not write me your thoughts on 
this whole subject, and tell me your prospects ? 
We are having a vei-y good time in the school 
this winter. Give my love to Rolden and Louisa, 
and believe me always your friend and brother, 
"J. A. Garfield. 
"P.S. — Miss Booth and Mr. Ehodes send 
their love to you. Henry James was here, and 
made me a good visit a few days ago. He is 
doing well. He and I have talked of going to 
see you this winter. I fear w; cannot do it. 
How far is it from here? Burke, was it pro- 
phetic that my last word to you ended on the 
picture of the Capitol of Congress ? J. A. G. " 

The last question in the postscript refers to 
the little picture of the Capitol which, in those 
days, was so common in the upper left-hand cor- 
ner of the Congress note-paper. The letter was 
written on one of these sheets, and filled it com- 
pletely, and was written crosswise at the end, 
the last word coming exactly across the picture 
of the Capitol. The General was quick to per- 
ceive this, and referred to it in that neat question. 

But a better idea of Garfield as an educator, 
and of his work at Hiram, can be obtained from 
the following remarks he made to a friend, than 
from anything that any other person has written 
on the subject. It was in 1 877, after he had 
made one of his masterly speeches in that hard- 
fought campaign, and as he lay upon his back 
under one of the famous old elms of Guernsey 
County, Ohio, that he thus unbosomed himself 
to one of his former college companions. He 
said, ' ' r have taken more solid comfort in the 
thing itself, and received more moral recompense 
and stimulus in after-life from capturing young 
men for an education than from anything else 
in the world." 

"As I look back over my life thus' far," he 
continued, "I think of nothing that so fills me 
with pleasure as the planning of these sieges, the 
revolving in my mind of plans for scaling the 
walls of the fortress ; of gaining access to the 
inner soul-life, and at last seeing the besieged 
party won to a fuller appreciation of himself, to 
a higher conception of life, and of the part he is 
to bear in it. The principal guards which I 
have found it necessary to overcome in gaining 
these victories are the parents or guardians of 
the young men themselves. I particularly re- 
member two such instances of capturing young 
men from their parents. Both of those boys are 
to-day educators of wide reputation — one Presi- 
dent of a college, the other high in the ranks of 
graded school managers. Neither, in my opin- 
ion, would to-day have been above the common- 
est walks of life unless I or some one else had 
captured him. There is a period in every 
young man's life when a very small thing will 
turn him one way or the other. He is distrust- 
ful of himself, and uncertain as to what he should 
do. His parents are poor„ perhaps, and argue 
that he has more education than they ever ob- 
tained, and that it is enough. These parents are 
sometimes a little too anxious in regard to what 

their boys are going to do when they get through 
with their college course. They talk to the 
young man too much, and I have noticed that 
the boy who will make the best man is some- 
times most ready to doubt himself. I always 
remember the turning period in my own life, 
and pity a young man at this stage from the 
bottom of my heart. One of the young men I 
refer to came to me on the closing day of the 
spring term and bade me good-bye at my study. 
I noticed that he awkwardly lingered after I ex- 
pected him to go, and had turned to my writing 
again. ' I suppose you will be back again in the 
fall, Heniy,' I said, to fill in the vacuum. He 
did not answer, and, turning toward him, I no- 
ticed that his eyes were filled with tears, and that 
his countenance was undergoing contortions of 

"He at length managed to stammer out, 'No, 
I am not coming back to Hiram any more. Fa- 
ther says I have got education enough, and that 
he needs me to work on the farm ; ' that educa- 
tion don't help along a farmer any. ' 

" ' Is your father here ?' I asked, almost as 
much affected by the statement as the boy him- 
self. He was a peculiarly bright boy — one of 
those strong, awkward, bashful, blonde, large- 
headed fellows, such as make men. , He was not 
a prodigy by any means. But he knew what 
work meant, and when he had won a thing by 
the true endeavor, he knew its value. 

" ' Yes, father is here, and is taking my things 
home for good,' said the boy, more affected than 

" ' Well, don't feel badly,' I said. ' Please tell 
him Mr. Garfield would like to see him at his 
study before he leaves the village. Don't tell 
him that it is about you, but simply that I want 
to see him.' In the course of half an hour the 
old gentleman, a robust specimen of a Western 
Beserve Yankee, came into the room, and awk- 
wardly sat down. I knew something of the man 
before, and I thought I knew how to begin. I 
shot right at the bull's-eye immediately. 

" ' So you have come up to take Henry home 
with you, have you ?' The old gentleman an- 
swered ' Yes.' ' I sent for you because I wanted 
to have a little talk with you about Henry's future. 
He is coming back again in the fall, I hope ?' 

" ' Wal, I think not. I don't reckon I can 
afford to sind him any more. He's got eddica- 
tion enough for a farmer already, and I notice 
that when they git too much they sorter git lazy. 
Yer eddicated farmers are humbugs. Henry's 
got so far 'long now that he'd rother hev his 
head in a book than be workin'. He don't take 
no interest in the stock nor in the farm improve- 
ments. Everybody else is dependent in this 
world on the farmer, and I think that we've got 
too many eddjcated fellows setting around now 
for the farmers to support. ' 

'"I am sorry to hear you talk so,' I said; 
' for really I consider Henry one of the bright- 
est and most faithful students I have ever had. 
I have taken a very deep interest in him. What 
I wanted to say to you was that the matter of 
educating him has largely been a constant out- 
go thus far, but if he is permitted to come next 
fall term, he will be far enough advanced so that 
he can teach school in the winter, and begin to 
help himself and you along. He can earn very 
little on the farm in the winter, and he can get 
very good wages teaching. How does that 
strike yoii ?' 

"The idea was a new and good one to him. 
He simply remarked, 'Do you really think he 
can teach next winter ?' 

"'I should think so, certainly,' I replied. 
' But if he cannot do so then, he can in a short 
time, anyhow.' 

" ' Wal, I will think on it.' He wants to come 
back bad enough, and I guess I'll have to let 
him. I never thought of it that way afore.' 

"I knew I was safe. It was the financial 
question that troubled the old gentleman, and I 
knew that would be overcome when Henry got 
to teaching, and could earn his money himself. 
He would then be so far along, too, that he could 
fight his own battles. He came all right the 
next fall, and, after finishing at Hiram, gradu- 
ated at an Eastern college. " 

His friend asked General Garfiel.) how he 
managed the campaign for capturing the other 
young man. 

"Well, that was a different case. I knew 
that this youth was going to leave mainly for 
financial reasons also, but I understood his fa- 
ther well enough to know that the matter must 
be managed with exceeding delicacy. He was 
a man of very strong religious convictions, and 
I thought he might be approached from that side 
of his character ; so when I got the letter of the 
son telling me, in the saddest language that he 
could master, that he could not come back to 
school any more, but must be content to be simply 
a farmer, much as it was against his inclination, I 
revolved the matter in my mind, and decided to 
send an appointment to preach in the little coun- 
try church where the pld gentleman attended. 
I took for a subject the parable of the talents, 
and in the course of my discourse dwelt special- 
ly upon the fact that children were the talents 
which had been intrusted to parents, and if these 
talents were not increased and developed there 
was a fearful trust neglected. After church I 
called upon the parents of the boy I was besieg- 
ing, and I saw that something was weighing 
upon their minds. At length the subject of the 
discourse was taken up and gone over again, 
and in due course the young man himself was 
discussed, and I gave my opinion that he should 
by all means be encouraged and assisted in tak- 
ing a thorough course of study. I gave my 
opinion that there was nothing more important 
to the parent than to do all in his power for the 
child. The next term the young man again 
appeared upon Hiram Hill, and remained pretty 
continuously till graduation." 

Garfield's private life was spotless, his nature 
whole-souled and generous, his personal presence 
commanding and magnetic, his ability and integ- 
rity alike unquestioned; and he was an ora- 
tor, with the warm feelings, the fervid imagina- 
tion and the Intense purpose which electrify great 
masses of men. His public addresses had made 
him widely known throughout his district, and it 
was natural that he should be looked to as a 
leader in the stirring times that now were ap- 
proaching. Up to 1856 he had taken but little 
interest in public affairs. He had been engross- 
ed in his work as an educator; but with the 
Kansas-Nebraska legislation his political pulses 
began to stir. He saw that freedom was about 
to engage in a hand-to-hand struggle with slav- 
ery, and, attempered as he was, he was irresisti- 
bly drawn into the conflict. It was the birth- 
day of the Republican party, all whose aims ap- 
pealed to his judgment, his feelings and his im- 
agination. He enrolled himself at once among 
its speakers, and became at once one of its most 
effective advocates. In a speech at a later time 
he thus alludes to this stirring period: "Long 
familiarity with traflSc in the bodies and souls of 
men had paralyzed the consciences of a majority 
of our people. The baleful doctrine of State 
sovereignty had shaken and weakened the no- 
blest and most beneficent powers of the National 
Government ; and the grasping power of slavery 
was seizing the virgin territories of the West and 
dragging them into the den of eternal bondage. 
At that crisis the Republican party was born. 
It drew its first inspiration from that fire of 
liberty which God has lighted in every human 
heart, and which all the powers of ignorance and 
tyranny can never wholly extinguish. The Re- 
publican party came to deliver and save the Re- 
public. It entered the arena where the belea- 
gured and assailed territories were struggling for 
freedom, and drew around it the sacred circle of 
liberty which the demon of slavery has never 
dared to cross. It made them free forever." 

It was quite natural that the strong antislav- 
ery people of Portage and Summit counties 
should select him as a representative, so in 1859 
he was nominated for the State Senate. He 
was elected by a large majority, and though yet 
scarcely twenty-eight, at once took high rank as 
a man unusually well-informed on the subjects of 
legislation, and effective and powerful in debate. 
When the secession of the Southern States took 
place, Garfield's course in the Senate was manly 
and outspoken. He was serving in that body 



ivhen hostilities broke out, and it was he who 
sprang to his feet when the President's call for 
seventy-five thousand men was read in the cham- 
ber, and, amidst the tumultuous acclamations of 
the assemblage, moved that twenty thousand 
troops and three millions of money should at 
once be voted as the quota of the State. When 
the time came for appointing the officers for the 
Ohio troops, Governor Dennison offered him 
command of a regiment ; and this brings us to 
the part he took in the War of the Rebellion. 



General Garfield decided to accept the ap- 
pointment tendered him by Governor Dennison, 
and resigning the presidency of the college at 
Hiram, he placed himself and his abilities whol- 
ly at the service of the Irrational Government. 
Before doing so, however, he went to his home, 
opened the Bible his mother had given him, and 
pondered long and earnestly upon the subject. 
He had a wife, a child, and about three thousand 
dollars. If his life should be sacrificed for his 
country, would God and the three thousand dol- 
lars provide for his wife and child ? He consult- 
ed the Book about it. It seemed to him to give 
an affirmative answer; and before the morning 
he wrote to a friend as follows : 

"I have had a curious interest in watching the 
process in my own mind, by which the fabric of 
my life is being demolished and reconstructed, 
to meet the new condition of afiiiirs. One by 
one my old plans and aims, modes of thought 
and feeling, are found to be inconsistent with 
present duty, and are set aside to give place to 
the new structure of military life. It is not with- 
out a regret, almost tearful at times, that I look 
upon the ruins. But if, as the result of the bro- 
ken plans and shattered individual lives of tlibu- 
sands of American citizens, we can see on 'the 
ruins of onr old national errors a new and en- 
dnring fabric arise, based on larger freedom and 
higher justice, it will be a small sacrifice indeed. 
For myself I am contented with such a prospect, 
and, regarding my life as given to the country, 
am only anxious to make as much of it as possi- 
ble before the mortgage upon it is foreclosed." 

It is remarkable with what facility the Ameri- 
can mind adapts itself to new situations, and this 
has never been so strikingly illustrated as in the 
great movements of 1861, which transformed in 
so short a time so great a multitude of young 
men from the unlimited independence of Ameri- 
can citizens to the willing but severe restraints 
of military discipline. With Garfield, however, 
it was not merely the temporary adoption of a 
new profession — it was the overturning of all his 
life-plans ; and to his mother it was the demoli- 
tion of all her ambitions hopes — hopes which had 
sustained her through long years of poverty and 
privation — that this son would pursue a scholarly 
career which would be worthy of her distinguished 
family. But, after the first shock of mingled sur- 
prise and disappointment was over, she quietly 
said, " Go, my son ; your life belongs to your 
country. " 

To this man, who thus went into the war with 
a life not his own, was given, on the 20th of De- 
cember, 1861, command of the little army which 
held Kentucky to her moorings in the Union. 

He knew nothing of war beyond its fundamen- 
tal principles — which are, I believe, that a big 
boy can whip a little boy, and that one big boy 
can whip two little boys, if he take them singly, 
one after the other. He knew no more about it ; 
yet he was selected by General Buell — one of the 
most scientific military men of his time — to solve 
a military problem which has puzzled the heads 
of the gi-eatest generals, namely, how two small 
bodies of men, stationed widely apart, can unite 
in the presence of an enemy and beat him, Avhen 
he is of twice their united strength, and strongly 
posted behind intrenchments. With the help of 
many "good men and true," he solved this prob- 
lem ; and in telling how he solved it, I shall give 
the history of the most remarkable campaign that 
occurred during the War of the Rebellion. 

In the months of October and November, 1861, 
this graduate from the Ohio and Pennsylvania 

Canal, with the aid of Judge Sheldon, of Elyria, 
Don A. Pardee, of Medina, Ralph Plumb, of 
Oberlin, and other patriotic citizens of his dis- 
trict, had raised the Forty-second Regiment of 
Ohio volunteers. Taking its command, he re- 
paired with it to Camp Chase, and at once set 
vigorously to work to master the art and mys- 
tery of war, and to give to his men such a de- 
gree of discipline as would fit them for effective 
service in the field. Bringing his saw and jack- 
plane again into play, he fashioned companies, 
officers, and non - commissioned officers out of 
maple blocks, and with these wooden - headed 
troops thoroughly mastered the infantry tactics 
in his quartets. Then he organized a school for 
the officers of his regiment, requiring thorough 
recitation in the tactics, and illusti°ating the ma- 
nceuvres by the blocks he had prepared for his 
own instruction. This done, he instituted regi- 
mental, company, squad, skirmish, and bayonet 
drill, and kept his men at these exercises from 
six to eight hours a day, until it was universally 
admitted that no better drilled or disciplined 
regiment could he found in Ohio. 

While thus employed, he was suddenly order- 
ed by General Buell to move his regiment, by the 
way of Cincinnati, to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, a 
town at the junction of the Big Sandy and the 
Ohio, and to report immediately, in person, to 
the department head-quarters at Louisville. 

Arriving at Louisville just at sunset on the 
19th of December, he at once sought an inter- 
view with General Buell, and was told by that 
officer that he was to be sent against the Con- 
federate general, Humphrey Marshall, who had 
invaded Eastern Kentucky from the Virginia 
border, and had already advanced as far north 
as Pi'estonburg, driving the small Union foree 
before him. 

Entering Kentucky at Pound Gap, Marshall 
had fortified a strong natural position near Paint- 
ville, and, with small bands, was overrunning the 
whole Piedmont region. This region, contain- 
ing an area larger than the whole of Massachu- 
setts, was occupied by about four thousand blacks 
and one hundred thousand whites — a brave, 
hardy, rural population, with few schools, scarce- 
ly any churehes, and only one newspaper, but 
with that sort of patriotism which grows among 
mountains and clings to its barren hill-sides as 
if they were the greenest spots in the universe. 
Among this simple people Marshall was scat- 
tering firebrands. Stump oratoi's were blazing 
away at every cross-road, lighting a fire which 
threatened to sweep Kentucky from the Union. 
To the Ohio canal-boy was committed the task 
of extinguishing this conflagration. It was a 
difficult task ; one which, with the means at com- 
mand, would have appalled any man not made 
equal to it by early struggles with hardship and 
poverty, and entire trust in the Providence that 
guards his country. 

How many men Marshall had was not known, 
but he was rapidly gathering an army, and, if 
unmolested, would soon have a large force with 
which he could hang on Buell's flank, and so pre- 
vent his advance into Tennessee; or, if he did 
advance, cut off his communications, and, fall- 
ing on his I'ear, while Beauregard encountered 
him in front, crush him, as it were, between the 
upper and nether mill-stones. This done, Ken- 
tucky was lost; and that occuiTing so early in 
the war, the dissolution of the Union might have 

To check this dangerous advance, meet Mar- 
shall — a thoroughly educated military man — and 
the uncounted hordes whom his reputation would 
draw about him, the inexperienced Ohio colonel 
was offered — what? Twenty-five hundred men 
— eleven hundred of whom, under Colonel Cra- 
nor, were at Paiis, Kentucky ; the remainder — 
his own regiment, and the half- formed Four- 
teenth Kentucky, nnder Colonel Moore, at Cat- 
lettsburg ; a hundred miles of mountain country, 
infested with guerillas, and occupied by a dis- 
loyal people, being between them. This was 
the problem of the big boy of uncertain size, but 
known to be skilled in war, and the two little boys 
who were to whip him, when, only by a miracle 
could they act together, and when they knew no 
more of war than can be learned from the pos- 

turing of wooden blocks, and the crack, perhaps, 
of squirrel rifles. 

"Thot is what you have to do. Colonel Gar- 
field — drive Marshall from Kentucky," saidBuell, 
when he had finished his view of the situation ; 
'•'and you see how much depends on your ac- 
tion. Now go to your quarters, think of it 
overnight, and come here in the morning and 
tell me how you will do it. " 

On the way to his hotel the young colonel 
bought a rude map of Kentucky, and then, shut- 
ting himself in his room, spent the greater part 
of the night in studying the geography of the 
country in which he was to operate, and in mak- 
ing notes of the plan which in the still hours 
came to him as the only one feasible, and likely 
to secure the objects of the campaign. 

His interview with the commanding general, 
on the following morning, was, as may be im- 
agined, one of peculiar interest. Few army offi- 
cers ever possessed more reticence, terse logic, and 
severe military habits than General Buell ; and 
as the young man laid his rude map and rough- 
ly-outlined plan on his table, and, with a curious 
and anxious face, watched his features to detect 
some indication of his thought, the scene was 
one for a painter. But no word or look indi- 
cated the commander's opinion of the feasibility 
of the plan, or the good sense of the suggestions. 
He spoke, now and then, in a quiet, sententious 
manner, but said nothing of approval or disap- 
proval; only at the close of the conference he 
did make the single remark — 

" Your orders will be sent to you at six o'clock 
this evening." 

Promptly at that hour the order came, organ- 
izing the Eighteenth Brigade of the Army of the 
Ohio, Colonel Garfield commanding ; and with 
the order came a letter of instructions, in Buell's 
own hand, giving general directions for the cam- 
paign, and recapitulating, with very slight modifi- 
cations, the plan submitted by Garfield. On the 
following morning he took leave of his general, 
and the latter said to him, at parting, 

"Colonel, you will be at so great a distance 
from me, and communication will be so slow 
and difficult, that I must commit all mattei°s of 
detail, and much of the fate of the campaign to 
your discretion. I shall hope to hear a good ac- 
count of you." 

Garfield set out at once for Catlettsburg, and, 
amving there on the 22d of December, found 
his regiment had already proceeded to Louisa — 
twenty-eight miles up the Big Sandy. 

A state of general alarm existed throughout 
the district. The Fourteenth Kentucky — the 
only force of Union troops left in the Big Sandy 
region — had been stationed at Louisa ; but had 
hastily retreated to the mouth of the river dur- 
ing the night of the 19th, under the impres- 
sion that Marshall, with his whole force, was 
following to drive them into the Ohio. Union 
citizens and their families were preparing to 
cross the river for safety ; but with the appear- 
ance of Garfield's regiment a feeling of securi- 
ty returned, and this was increased when it was 
seen that the Union troops boldly pushed on to 
Louisa, without even waiting for their colonel. 
This, however, was only in pursuance of orders 
he had telegraphed on the morning after he 
had formed the plan of the campaign by mid- 
night, in his dingy quarters at the hotel in Lonis- 

Waiting at Catlettsburg only long enough to 
forward supplies to his forces, Garfield appeared 
at Louisa on the morning of the 2't:th of Decem- 
ber, and thenceforward he became the chief actor 
in a drama which, all its circumstances consider- 
ed, is one of the most wondei'ful to be read of in 

Garfield had two very difficult things to ac- 
complish. He had to open communication with 
Colonel Cranor, while the intervening country, 
as has been said, was infested with roving bands 
of guerillas, and QUed with a disloyal people. 
He had also to form a junction with the force 
nnder that officer, in the face of a superior eno- 
my, who would, doubtless, be apprised of his ev- 
ery movement, and be likely to fall upon his sep. 
arate columns the moment that either was set iii 
motion, in the hope of crushing them in detaiL 



Eithei- operation was hazardous, if not well-nigh 

Evidently, the first thing to be done was to 
find a tniscwoi'thy messenger to convey de- 
spatches between the two divisions of the Union 
army. To this end the Union commander ap- 
plied to Colonel Moore, of the Fourteenth Ken- 

" Have you a man," he aslced, "who will die 
rather than fail or betray us ?" 

The Kentuckian reflected a moment, then an- 
swered, "I think I have — John Jordan, from 
the head of Blaine."* 

Jordan was sent for. He was a tall, gaunt, 
sallow man of about thirty, with small gray eyes, 
a fine falsetto voice, pitched in the minor key, 
and his speech was the rude dialect of the moun- 
tains. His face had as many expressions as 
could be found in a regiment, and he seemed a 
strange combination of cunning, simplicity, un- 
daunted courage, and undoubting faith ; yet, 
tliongh he might pass for a simpleton, he had a 
rude sort of wisdom, which, cultivated, might 
have given his name to history. 

The young colonel sounded him thorotighly, 
for the fate of the little army might depend on 
his fidelity. The man's soul was as clear as 
crystal, and in ten minutes Garfield saw through 
it. His history is stereotyped in that region. 
Born among the hills, where the crops are stones, 
and sheep's noses are sharpened before they can 
nibble the thin grass between them, his life had 
been one of the hardest toil and privation. He 
knew nothing but what Nature, the Bible, the 
" Course of Time," arid two or three of Shak- 
speare's plays had taught him ; but somehow in 
the mountain air he had grown to be a man — 
a man, as civilized nations account manhood. 

"Why did you come into the war?" at last 
asked the colonel. 

" To do my sheer fur the kentry, gin'ral," an- 
swered the man. " And I didn't druv no bar- 
g'in wi' th' Lord. I guv him my life squar' out ; 
and ef he's a mind ter tuck it on this tramp, why, 
it's a liis'n ; I've nothin' ter say agin it." 

" You mean that you've come into the war not 
expecting to get out of it ?" 

"Thiit's so, gin'ral." 

" Will you die rather than let the despatch be 
taken ?" 

"I wull." 

The colonel recalled what had passed in his 
own mind when poring over his mother's Bible 
that night at his home in Ohio, and it decided 
him. "Very well," he said; "I will trust 

'The despatch was written on tissue-paper, roll- 
ed into the form of a bullet, coated with warm 
lead, and put into the hand of ihe Kentuckian. 
He was given a carbine, a brace of revolvers, 
and the fleetest horse in his regiment, and, wlien 
the moon was down, started on his perilous jour- 
ney. He was to ride at night, and hide in the 
woods or in the houses of loyal men in the day- 

Space will not permit me to detail the inci- 
dents of this perilous ride over nearly a hundred 
miles of disaflfected country. On his first day 
out the scout was waylaid by a band of guerillas, 
who were apprised of the object of his journey 
through the treachery of one of his own com- 
rades in the Fourteenth Kentucky. They sur- 
rounded the house of a loyal man at which he 
was sleeping, and he had barely time to intrust 
the despatch to the worthy housewife, and to 
enjoin her, in case he was killed, to convey it 
safely 'o Colonel Cranor at Paris, when the 
door was burst open, and they were npon him. 
He fled to the woods, running the gauntlet of 
his pursuers, and killing one of them before he 
reached the timber. There he lay concealed 
till night, when he stole again to the loyal 
man's dwelling, recovered the despatch, and with 
it again set out on his hazardous journey. Other 
perils encountered him ; but at last, at midnight 
of the following day, he reached the camp of 
Colonel Cranor, having ridden nearly a hun- 

* The Blaine is a small stream which puts into the 
Big Sandy a short distance from the town of Loaias, 

dred miles with a rope round his neck, for thir- 
teen dollars a month, hard-tack, and a shoddy 

Colonel Cranor opened the despatch. It was 
dated Louisa, Kentucky, December 24th, mid- 
night ; and directed him to move at once with 
his regiment (the Fortieth Ohio, eight hundred 
strong), by the way of Mount Sterling and Mc- 
Cormick's Gap, to Prestonburg. He would en- 
cumber his men with as few rations and as lit- 
tle luggage as possible, bearing in mind that the 
safety of his command depended on his expe- 
dition. He would also convey the despatch to 
Lieutenant-colonel Woodford at Stamford, and 
direct him to join the march with his three hun- 
dred cavalry. 

Hours now were worth months of common 
time, and on the following morning Cranor's col- 
umn began to move. The scout lay by till night, 
then set out on his return, and at last rejoined 
his regiment in safety. 

The contents of the bullet which Jordan con- 
veyed to Colonel Cranor indicated that it was 
the intention of the Union commander to move 
at once upon the enemy. Of Marshall's real 
strength he was ignorant; but his scouts and the 
coun try people reported that the main body of the 
Confederates — which was intrenched in an almost 
impregnable position near Paintville — was from 
four to seven thousand strong, and that an out- 
lying force of eight hundred occupied West Lib- 
erty, a town directly on the route by which Cra- 
nor was to march to efl^ect a junction with the 
main Union army. Cranor's column, as has been 
said, was eleven hundred strong, and the main 
body under Garfield now numbered about fifteen 
hundred — namely, the Forty- Second Ohio In- 
fantry, ten hundred and thirteen strong, and the 
Fourteenth Kentucky Infantry, numbering five 
hundred rank and file, but imperfectly armed 
and equipped. All told, therefore, Garfield had 
a force of twenty-six hundred in a strange dis- 
trict, andcut off from re-enforcements, with which 
to meet and crush an army of at least five thou- 
sand, familiar with the country, and daily receiv- 
ing recruits from the disaffected Southern coun- 

Evidently a forward movement was hazard- 
ous ; but the Union commander did not waste 
time in considering the obstacles and dangers 
of the expedition. On the morning following 
the departure of Jordan, he set out up the river 
with such of his command as were in readiness, 
and halting at George's Creek, only twenty miles 
from Marshall's intrenched position, prepared to 
move at once upon the enemy. 

The roads along the Big Sandy were impas- 
sable for trains, and the close proximity of the 
enemy rendered it unsafe to make so wide a 
detour from the river as would be required to 
send supplies by the table-lands to the west- 
ward. In these> circumstances, Garfield decided 
to depend mainly upon water navigation for 
the transport of his supplies, and to use the 
anny train only when his troops were obliged, 
by absolutely impassable roads, to move away 
from the river. 

The Big Sandy is a narrow, fickle stream, and 
finds its way to the Ohio through the roughest 
and wildest spurs of the Cumberland Mountains. 
At low-water it is not navigable above Louisa, 
except for small flat - boats, pushed by hand ; 
but these ascend as high as Piketon, one hun- 
dTQu and twenty miles from the mouth of the 
river. In time of high -water small steamers 
can reach Piketon ; but heavy fieshets render 
navigation impracticable, owing to tlie swift cur- 
rent, filled with floating timber, and to the over- 
hanging trees, which almost touch one another 
from the opposite banks. At this time the river 
was of only moderate height ; but, as will be 
readily seen, the supply of a brigade at mid- 
winter by such an uncertain stream, and in the 
presence of a powerful enemy, was a thing of 
great difficulty. 

However, the obstacles did not intimidate Gar- 
field. Gathering together ten days' rations, he 
chartered two small steamers, and impressed all 
the flat-boats he could lay hands on, and tiien, 
taking his army-wagons apart, he loaded them, 
with his forage and provisions, upon the flat- 

boats. This was on the 1st of January, 1862, 
and the day before Garfield received an unex- 
pected re-enforcement, that cannot be omitted 
in a full statement of the progress of the expe- 
dition. This was Henry S. (Harry) Brown, who 
has before been alluded to as a fellow-boatman 
with Garfield on the Ohio and Pennsylvania 
Canal. He had served as a kind of scout or 
rough-rider in West Virginia during the three 
months' service under Rosecrans ; and hearing 
of the Sandy Valley Expedition, and that it was 
commanded by James A. Garfield, from the 
Ashtabula district in Ohio, he at once con- 
ceived that he must be his old-time canal-boat 
companion. He had felt for him, when a boy, 
a strong affection, and he now hastened to 
tender him his services. He knew Garfield at 
once ; but the latter did not so soon recognize 
him, disguised as he was by time, and the traces 
of an irregular life and much dissipation. Brown 
was thoroughly acquainted with the country the 
army was about entering, and, feeling that he 
could trust him, Garfield at once sent him 
ahead of his column to make the circuit of 
Marshall's camp, and, if possible, to ascertain 
his actual strength and position. He was also 
to sweep through the mountain border of Vir- 
ginia, on the left of the line of march, to learn 
if the Union forces were likely to be threatened 
from that quarter. Rosecrans has termed scouts 
' ' the eyes of an army. " This man and the scout 
Jordan were the " eyes " of Garfield's com- 
mand ; and though they were clad in butternuts, 
and made no very presentable appearance, the 
services they rendered were too important to be 
passed without mention in any detailed account 
of the expedition. i 

On the following day Garfield put his little 
army — reduced now, by sickness and garrison 
duty, to fourteen hundred — in motion. 

It was a toilsome march. The roads were 
knSe-deep in mire, and, though it was encum- 
bered with only a light train, the army made 
very slow progress. Some days it marched 
five or six miles, and some a considerably less 
distance ; but on the 6th of January it arrived 
within seven miles of Paintville. Here the men 
threw themselves upon the wet ground, and Gar- 
field laid down in his boots, in a wretched log- 
hut, to catch a few hours of slumber. About 
midnight he was roused from sleep by a man 
who said his business was urgent. He rubbed 
his eyes, and raised himself on his elbow. 

"Back safe?" he asked. "Have yott seen 

" Yes, colonel ; he can't be more'n two days 
ahind o' me, nohow." 

" God bless you, Jordan ! You have done us 
great service," said Garfield, warmly. 

"I thank ye, colonel," answered Jordan, his 
voice trembling; "that's more pay 'n I expect- 

He had returned safely ; but the Providence 
which so wonderfully guarded his way out 
seemed to leave him to find his own way 
back; for, as he expressed it, "The Lord he 
cared more for the despatch nor he cared for 
me ; and it was nat'ral he shu'd ; 'cause my 
life only counts one, but the despatch — it stood 
for all Kentucky."* 

In the morning another horseman rode up to 
the Union head-quarters. He was a messenger 
direct from General Buell, who had followed 
Garfield up the Big Sandy with despatches. 
They contained only a few hurried sentences 
from a man to a woman, but their value was 
not to be estimated in money. It was a letter 
from Marshall to his wife, which Buell had in- 
tercepted, and it revealed the important fact 
that the Confederate general had five thousand 
men— forty-four hundred infantry and six hun- 
dred cavalry — with twelve pieces of artilleiy ; 

• A detailed account of this scout's perilous ride I 
wrote for the Atlantic Monthly for October, 1808. In 
thntacconnt, following the current report hi the army, 
I spoke of him as having been killed iu the war; bat 
about two years afterward be wrote to General Gar- 
field, protesting that I had killed him without war- 
rant of fact, and saying that he still had a life to give 
to the natiou. Of his subsequent history I kuow noth- 
ing; but, be he alive or dead, he deserved well of hia \ 



and that he was daily expecting an attack from 
a Union force of ten thousand. 

Garfield put the letter silently into his pock- 
et, and then called a council of his officers. 
They assembled in the mde log-shanty, and, 
without disclosing the contents of the inter- 
cepted letter, he pot this question to them : 

*'Shall we march at once, or wait the coming 

All but one said "Wait." He said, "Move 
at once; our fonrteen hundred can whip ten 
thousand Confederates!" 

Garfield reflected awhile, then closed the coun- 
cil with the laconic remark, " Well, forward it 
is. Give the order!" 

He said this, but nothing about the intercepted 
letter he had in his pocket. 

Three roads lead to Marshall's position : one 
at the east, bearing down to the river, and along 
its western bank ; another, a circuitous one, to 
the west, coming in on Painter Creek, at the 
mouth of Jenny's Creek, on the right of the 
village; and a third between the others — a 
more direct route, but climbing a succession of 
almost impassable ridges. These three roads 
were held by strong Confederate pickets, and a 
regiment was outlying at the village of Paintville. 

The following diagram will help the reader to 
an idea of the situation : 

To deceive Marshall as to his real strength and 
designs, Garfield orders a small force of infantry 
and cavalry to advance along the river, drive in 
the enemy's pickets, and move rapidly after them, 
as if to attack Paintville. Two hours after this 
force goes off, a similar one, with the same or- 
ders, sets out on the road to the westward ; and 
two hours later still, another small body takes 
the middle road. The effect is, that the pickets 
on the first route, being vigorously attacked and 
driven, retreat in confusion to Paintville, and de- 
spatch word to Marshall that the Union army is 
advancing along the river. He hurries off a 
thousand infantry and a battery to i-esist the ad- 
vance of this imaginary column. When this de- 
tachment has been gone an hour and a half, he 
hears, from the rented pickets on the right, that 
the Fedeiids are advancing along the western 
road. Countermanding his first order, he now 
directs the thousand men and the battery to 
check the new danger, and hurries off the 
troops at Paintville to the month of Jenny's 
Creek to make a stand there. Two houi-s later 
the pickets on the central route are driven in, 
and, finding Paintville abandoned, flee precipi- 
tately to the fortified camp, with the story that 
the Union army is close at their heels and occu- 
pying the town. Conceiving that he has thus : 

lost Paintville, Marshall hastily withdraws tKe 
detachment of one thousand men to his fortified 
cam^ ; and Garfield, moving rapidly over the 
ridges of the central route, occupies the aban- 
doned position. 

So affairs stand on the evening of the 8th of 
January, when a spy entei-s the camp of Mar- 
shall with tidings that Cranor, with thirty-three 
hundred (!) men, is within twelve hours' march 
at the westward. On receipt of these tidings, 
the "big boy" — he weighed three hundred 
pounds by the Louisville hay-scales — conceiving 
himself outnumbered, breaks up his camp, and 
retreats precipitately, abandoning or burning a 
large portion of his supplies. Seeing the fires, 
Garfield mounts his horse, and, with a thousand 
men, enters the deserted camp at nine in the 
evening, while the blazing stores are yet uncon- 
snmed. He sends off a detachment to harass 
the reti"eat, and waits the arrival of Cranor, with 
whom he means to follow and bring Mai-shall to 
battle in the morning. 

In the morning Cranor comes, but his men 
are footsore, without rations, and completely ex- 
hausted. "They cannot move one leg after the 
other. But the canal-hoy is bound to have a 
fight ; so every man who has strength to march 
is ordered to come forward. Eleven hundred — 
among them four hundred of Cranor's tired he- 
roes — step from the ranks, and with them, at 
noon of the 9th, Garfield sets out for Preston- 
burg, sending all his available cavalry to follow 
the line of the enemy's retreat, and harass and 
delay him. 

Marehing eighteen miles, he reaches, at nine 
o'clock that night, the mouth of Abbott's Creek, 
three miles below Prestonhnrg, he and the elev- 
en hundred. There he heai-s that Mai-shall is 
encamped on the same stream, three miles high- 
er up ; and throwing his men into bivouac, in 
the midst of a sleety rain, he sends an order back 
to Lieutenant-colonel Sheldon, who is left in com- 
mand at Paintville, to bring up every available 
man with all possible despatch, for he shall foree 
the enemy to battle in the morning. He spends 
the night in learning the character of the sur- 
rounding country, and the disposition of Mar- 
shall's forces; and now again John Jordan 
comes into action. 

A dozen Confederates are grinding at a mill, 
and a dozen Union men come upon them, cap- 
ture their corn, and make them prisoners. The 
miller is a tall, gnunt man, and his clothes fit the 
scout as if they were made for him. He is a Dis- 
unionist, too, and his very raiment should bear 
witness against this feeding of his enemies. It 
does. It goes back to the Confederate camp, and 
— the scout goes in it. That chameleon face of 
his is smeared with meal, and looks the miller so 
well that the miller's own wife might not detect 
the difference. The night is dark and rainy, and 
that lessens the danger ; bat still he is picking his 
teeth in the very jaws of the lion. 

Space will hot permit me to detail this mid- 
night ramble; but it gave Garfield the exact 
position of the enemy. They had made a stand, 
and laid an ambnscade for him. Strongly post- 
ed on a semicircular hill, at the forks of Middle 
Creek, on both sides of the road, with cannon 
commanding .its whole length, and hidden by 
the trees and underbrush, they were waiting his 

Deeming it unsafe to proceed fiirther in the 
darkness, Garfield, as has been said, had ordered 
his array into bivouac at nine in the evening, and 
climbing a steep ridge, called Abbott's Hill, his 
tired men threw themselves upon the wet ground 
to wait for the morning. It was a terrible night, 
a fit prelude to the terrible day that followed. 
A dense fog shut out the moon and stars, and 
shrouded the lonely mountain in Cimmerian dark- 
ness. A cold wind swept from the north, driving 
the rain in blinding gusts into the fiices of the 
shivering men, and stirring the dark pines into 
a mournful music. But the slow and cheerless 
night wore away at last, and at four in the morn- 
ing the tired and hungry men, their icy clothing 
clinging to their half-frozen liml)s, were roused 
from their cold beds, and ordered to move for- 
ward. Slowly and cautiously they descended into 
the valle^y, feeling at every step for the enemy. 

About daybreak, while rounding a hill which 
jutted out into the valley, the advance-guard 
was charged upon by a body of Confederate 
horsemen. Forming his men in a hollow square, 
Garfield gave the Confederates a volley that sent 
them reeling up the valley — all but one ; and he, 
with his horse, plunged into the stream, and was 

The main body of the enemy, it was now evi- 
dent, was not far distant ; but whether he had 
changed his position since the visit of Jordan 
was uncertain. To deteriiiiie this, Garfield sent 
forward a strong corps of skirmishers, who swept 
the cavalry from a ridge which they had occupied, 
and, moving forward, soon drew the fiie of the 
hidden Confederates. Suddenly a puff of smoke 
rose from beyond the hill, and a twelve-pound 
shell whistled above the trees, then ploughed up 
the hill, and buried itself in the ground at the 
very feet of the adventurous little band of skir- 

It was now twelve o'clock, and throwing his 
whole force upon the ridge whence the Confed- 
erate cavalry had been driven, Garfield prepared 
for the impending battle. It was a ti-ying and 
perilous moment. He was in presence of a 
greatly superior enemy, and how to dispose his 
little force, and where first to attack, were things 
not easy to determine. But he lost no time in 
idle indecision. Looking in the faces of his eleven 
hundred, he went at once into the terrible strug- 
gle. His mounted escort of twelve men he sent 
forward to make a charge, and, if possible, to 
draw the fire of the enemy. The ruse worked 
admirably. As the little squad swept round a 
curve in the road another shell whistled through 
the valley, and the long roll of nearly five thou- 
sand muskets chimed in with a fieree salutation. 
Then began the battle. 

It was a wonderful battle. In the history of 
the late war there is not another like it. Meas- 
ured by the forces engaged, the valor displayed, 
and the results that followed, it throws into the 
shade the achievements of even the mighty hosts 
which saved the nation. Eleven hundred foot- 
sore and weary men, without cannon, charge up 
a rocky hill, over stumps, over stones, over fallen 
trees, over high intrenchments, right in the face 
of five thousand fresh troops, with twelve pieces 
of artillery. 

A glance at the ground will best show the real 
nature of the conflict. It was on the margin of 
Middle Creek, a narrow, rapid stream, and three 
miles from where it finds its way into the Big 
Sandy, through the sharp spura of the Cumber- 
land Mountains. A rocky road, not ten feet in 
width, winds along this stream, and on its two 
banks abrupt ridges, with steep and rocky sides, 
overgrown with trees and underbrush, shut close- 
ly down upon the road and the little streamlet. 
At twelve o'clock Garfield had gained the crest 
of the ridge at the right of the road, and the 
charge of his handfnl of horsemen had drawn 
Marshall's fire, and disclosed his actual position. 
It will be clearly seen from the diagram given 
on the following page. 

The main foree of the Confederates occupied 
the crests of the two ridges at the left of tha 
stream, but a strong detachment was posted on 
the right, and a battery of twelve pieces held 
the forks of the creek and commanded the ap- 
proach of the Union Army. It was Marshall's 
plan to lure Garfield along the road, and then, 
taking him between two enfilading fires, to sur- 
round and utterly destroy him. But his has^ 
fire betrayed his design, and unmasked his entire 

Garfield acted with promptness and decision. 
A hundred undergraduates, recruited from his 
own college, were ordered to cross the stream, 
climb the ridge whence the fire had been hottest-, 
and bring on the battle. Boldly the little band 
plunge into the creek, the icy water up to their 
waists, and, clinging to the trees and underbrush, 
climb the rocky ascent. Half-way up the ridge, 
the fire of at least two thousand rifles opens upon 
them, but, springing from tree to tree, they press 
on, and at last reach the summit. Then sudden- 
ly the hill is gray with Confederates, who, rising 
from ambush, pour thdr deadly volleys into the 
little band of onty one hundred. In a moment 


they waver, but their leader calls out, "Every 
man to a tree ! Give them as good as they send, 
my boys!" 

The Confederates, behind rocks and a rude in- 
trenchment, are obliged to expose their heads to 
take aim at the advancing column ; but the Un- 
ion troops, posted behind the huge oaks and ma- 
ples, can stand erect and load and fire, fully pro- 
tected. Though they are outnumbered ten to one, 
the contest is, therefore, for a time, not so very 

But soon the Confederates, exasperated \rtth 
the obstinate resistance, rush from cover, and 
charge upon the little handful with the bayonet. 
Slowly they are driven down the hill, and two 
of them fall to the ground wounded. One never 
rises ; the other — a lad of only eighteen — is shot 
through the thigh, and one of his comrades turns 
back to bear him to a place of safety. The ad- 
vancing Confederates are within thirty feet, when 
one of them fires, and his bullet strikes a tree di- 
rectly above the head of the Union soldier. He 
turns, levels his musket, and the Confederate is 
in eternity. Then the rest are upon him ; but, 
zigzagging from tree to tree, he is soon with his 
driven column. But not far are the brave boys 
driven. A few rods lower down they hear again 
the voice of the brave 
Captain Williams, their 

"To the trees again, 
my boys!" he cries. 
"We may as well die 
here as in Oliio !" 

To the trees they go, 
and in a moment the ad- 
vancing horde is checked, 
and then rolled back- 
ward. Up the hill they 
turn, firing as they go, 
and the little band fol- 
lows. Soon the Con- 
federates reach the spot 
where the Hiram boy lies 
wounded ; and< one of 
them says to him, 

" Boy, guv me yer 

" Not the gun, but its 
contents," cries the boy ; 
and the Confederate falls, 
mortally wounded. An- 
other raises his weapon to 
brain the prostrate lad ; 
but he, too, falls, killed 
with his comrade's own 
rifle. And all this is dune while the hero-boy 
is on the ground bleeding. An hour afterward 
his comrades bear the boy to a sheltered spot on 
the other side of the streamlet, and then the first 
word of complaint escapes him. As they are 
taking off his leg, he says, in his agony, 

" Oh, what will mother do ?" 

A fortnight later his words, repeated in the 
Senate of Ohio, rouse the noble State to at once 
make provision for the widows and mothers of 
its soldiers. I do not know if he be dead or liv- 
ing, but his name should not be forgotten. It 
was Charles Carlton, of Franklin, Ohio. 

Meanwhile the Union commander is standing 
upon a rocky height on the other side of the 
narrow valley, and his quick eye has discerned, 
through the densely curling smoke, the real state 
of the, unequal contest. 

"They are being driven," he says. "They 
will lose the hill if they are not supported." 

Instantly five hundred of the Ohio Fortieth and 
Forty-second, under Major Pardee and Colonel 
Cranor, are ordered to the rescue. Holding 
their cartridge-boxes above their heads, they 
dash into the stream, up the hill, and into the 
£ght, shouting, 

"Hurrah for Williams and the Hiram boys!" 
But shot and shell and canister, and the fire of 
four thousand muskets, are now concentrated 
npon the few hundred heroes. 

" This will never do !' cries Garfield. " Who 
will volunteer to carry the other mountain ?" 

"We will!" shouts Colonel Monroe, of the 
Twenty- second Kentucky. "We know every 
inch of the ground," 


" Go in, then," cries Garfield, "and give them 
Hail Columbia !" 

Fording the stream lower down, they climb 
the ridge at the left, and in ten minutes are upon 
the enemy. Like the others, these Confederates 
are posted behind rocks, and, as they uncover 
their heads, become ghastly targets for the un- 
erring Kentucky rifles. 

" Take good aim, and don't shoot till you see 
the eyes of your enemy," shouts the brave colonel. 

The men have never been under fire, but in a 
few moments are as cool as if shooting at a tur- 

"Do you see that Keb?" says one to a com- 
rade, as a head appears above a rock. "Hit 
him while I'm loading." 

Another is bringing his cartridge to his mouth, 
when a bullet cuts away the powder and leaves 
the lead in his fingers. Shielding his arm with 
his body, he says, as he turns from the foe and 
rams home another cartridge, 

"There, see if you can hit that !" 

Another takes out a piece of hard-tack, and a 
ball shivers it in his hand. He swallows the rem- 
nant, and then coolly fires away again. One is 
brought down by a ball in the knee, and lying 
on the ground, rifle in hand, watches for the man 

™~:~::L~=:;=r;;;;:;~.-.:.:.-: Federal lines. 

A. Rebel artillery, 6 anri 12 ponnders. 

B. Eiflge taken by the Ohio boys. 

C. Kldge taken by Kentuckiaus under Monroe. 

Bebel lines. 

D. Garfield's reserve. 

E. Approach orre-enforcementB under CoL Sheldon 

F. Boad by which the enemy retreated. 

who shot him. Soon the man's head rises above 
the rock, and the two fire at the same instant. 
The loyal man is struck in the mouth ; but, as 
he is borne down the hill, he splutters out, 

"Never mind, that Secesh is done for !" 

The next morning the Confederate is found 
with the wliole upper part of his head shot away 
by the other's bullet. 

The brave Kentuckians climb or leap up along 
the side of the mountain. Now they are hidden 
in the underbrush, now sheltered by the great 
trees, and now fully exposed in some narrow 
opening; but gradually they near the crest of the 
ridge, and at last are at its very summit. 

'rhen comes a terrible hand-to-hand struggle, 
and the little band of less than six hundred, 
overpowered by numbers, are driven far down 
the mountain. 

Soon the men rally, and as they turn a bullet 
grazes the colonel's side, and buries itself in the 
breast of a man whom he has seen send five Con- 
federates to the great accounting. Blood will 
have blood, and so he, too, goes to the judgment. 

Meanwhile, another cannon has opened on 
the hill, and round shot and canister fall thickly 
among the weary eleven hundred. Seeing his 
advance about to waver, the Union commander 
sends volley after volley from his entire reserve, 
at the central point, between his two detach- 
ments, and for a time the enemy's fire is silenced 
in that quarter. But soon it opens again, and 
then Garfield orders all bnt a himdred reserve 
npon the mountain. Then the battle grows ter- 
rible. Thicker and thicker swarm the enemy on 
the crest ; sharp and sharper rolls the musketry 

along the valley, and, as volley after volley echoes 
among the hills, and the white smoke curls up 
in long wreaths from the gleaming rifles, a dense 
cloud gathers overhead, as if to shut out this 
scene of carnage from the very eye of Heaven. 

For five hours the contest rages. Now the 
Union forces are driven back ; then, charging up 
the hill, they regain the lost ground, ajid from 
behind rocks and trees pour in their murderous 
volleys. Then again they are driven back, and 
again they charge up the hill, strewing the ground 
witli corpses. So the bloody work goes on ; so 
the battle wavers, till the setting snn, wheelitlg 
below the hills, glances along the dense lines of 
Rebel steel moving down to envelop the weary 
eleven hundred. It is an awful moment, big with 
the fate of Kentucky. At its very ciisis two 
figures stand out against the fading sky, boldly 
defined in the foreground. 

One is in Union blue. With a little bandof 
heroes about him, he is posted on a projecting 
rock, which is scarred with bullets, and in full 
view of both armies. His head is uncovered, 
his hair streaming in the wind, his face upturned 
in the darkening daylight, and from his soul is 
going up a prayer — a prayer for Sheldon and 
his forces. He turns his eyes to the northward, 
and his lip tightens as he 
throws off his outer coat, 
and, as it catches in the 
limb of a tree, says to his 
hundred men, " Come on, 
boys ; we must give them 
Hail Columbia!"* 

The other is in Con- 
federate gray. Moving 
out to the brow of the 
opposite hill, and placing 
a glass to' his eye, he, too, 
takes a long look to the 
northward. He starts, for 
he sees something which 
the other, on lower 
ground, does not distin- 
guish. Soon he wheels 
his horse, and the word 
"Retreat!" echoes along 
the valley between thetn. 
It is his last word ; for 
six rifles crack, and the 
Confederate major lies on 
the ground quivering. 

The one in blue looks 
to the north again, and 
now, floatitig proudly 
among the trees, he sees 
the starry banner. It is Sheldon and re-enforce- 
ments! On they come like the rushing wind, 
filling the air with their shouting. The weary 
eleven hundred take up the strain, and theOj , 
above the swift pursuit, above the lessening con- 
flict, above the last boom of the wheeling cannon, 
goes up the wild huzza of victory ! The gallant 
Garfield has won the day, and rolled back the 
tide of disaster which has been sweeping on ever 
since Big Bethel. 


In one hot^flght that Qarfleld won. 

The loyal-souled Commander 
Sent back a word among his men 

That stirred up all their dander. 

He was not quite so fast to cuss 

And swear around as some be, 
And all he said was, " Come on boys : 

" We'll give 'em Hail Columby !" 

He led, they followed, spreading wide 

Among the rebels routed. 
From rank to rank, in libera] gift, 

The selt'-siime tbiug he shouted. 

Tear after year, a leader still. 

In camp and field and forum. 
His feet beside his colors tread 

As when the bullets tore 'em. 

Tear after year npon his lips, 

Through every contest ringing. 
The men who fullow hear, as when 

The shells were o'er him singing 

The words thnt harph to many an ear 

Bnt bngle-sweet to some be. 
For peace or war a charging-cry, 

"Boys, give 'em Hnil ijolumby !" 

William O. Stohdabiki 

He» yoA, Jtme Uth, 1680. 

As they come baefe ft'ftbi tR'6 short ^Wstiit the 
voUn'g comniandevgi'ft'ips taaii aft'ev thaii by the 
hand, and says, 

" God bless you, boys, ydii hnVe Saved Ken- 
ttiteky!" . 

At About teight o'clock that night, tit a ^dther- 
iilg of his officers, Garfield showed them the in- 
tercepted letter of Marshall, arid for the lirst time 
they knew that the valiant eleven hundred had 
rbuted &n iritrenched force of five thousand, 
strongly sujipdrted with artillery ; and that their 
leader whs fully oOKiciou's of his^ilemy's strength 
when he moved to attack him.* 

While war is the greatest of earthly enbrrtii- 
tie&, it is strange the interest a battle-field al-, 
ways Awakens. We go over the ground,' tnark- 
ifig the $pot Where Occm-red some fearful strug- 
gle, or Vhere some noble regimeht went down 
tb'U S*ift destruction, and We do hot see the piil- 
lid faces of the dead, or hear the moaris of the 
wtebnd'ed. But this is when the ^raSs has'gi'own 
^^en, and the Smoke hks cl^r^ away, letting 
in the'light of heaven. Biit wh^n the ground is 
r^9,'^en the linbaried dead lie in heaps, bnd 
the wounded are sti-etched on the trodden grass, 
rending the air with cries for succor, then it is 
\*b k-ealise the real horror Of the battte-fleld. It 
w'Ab thus that my informant s'a\^ it, when, with a 
■wWer-bUcket oh his arm, he tvalked slOwIy along 
ttie n>ountain.<side On the evening of this Te&r- 
fiil conflict. Twenty-s^ven Confederate dead lay 
uhboried on the ground, khd si:cty more, has- 
tily thrown together, and only looSely covered 
with a few leaves and uhtlei^brush, were at the 
bbttOm Of a riiviue. Leaning agtiinst a tree, he 
sitw a fitir-htiired youth, his hands clasped across 
Ms knete, and his head bent Slightly forward. 
Mis fUce was flushed, and hi^ eyes gleamed bright 
in the moonlight. BKring his breast to staunch 
the Still-flowing blbbd, he spokb to him gently, 
the eves looked out in a mute appeftl, but the 
still lij^ls gave no answer. With hiiii the battle 
of'life was over forever. 

A little farther on five dead and one wounded 
Uy behind a rock, two of the dead fallen .across 
the living. The living man's tfeg ilvas shattered, 
liUt his wound was not mortal. 

"Yon must be in great pain ; can I do any- 
thihfe for you ?" 

"TUere are othel^ wOrse Off," said the man; 
"tend to them; then you may look aft^r me." 

Moving the dead from his crushed limb, my 
informant went forward. 

One bad received a ball through the neck, 

* The eftbct of this victory on the Governmenl and 
tli«, nation can, at this distance of time, scnrcely be 
«stimaced. Disaster had followed disaster, till the 
nation deemed ptkralyzed; but this vit^tory awoke it 
to lift Kiid fesolate action. As n singnliir coincidence, ' 
]t may be aientioued that on this very day President 
Lincoln, in great depression, bad sent for GenernI 
HCDoWell to confer with him as to the crisis,— the 
capttsfl beUngured, and onr armies everywhere idle 
«r uel^ated ; aud at tbls very hour, when Garfield and 
his offlcers met after the battle, this cmifereiice tiipk 

tth'^e between the PreBideu^and Geiiernt McDowell. 

iiiiOte tlie nccoiiut of thfe interview from au extract 
tram the general's diary, published by Mr. Swintuu 
in his " History of the Army of the Potomac :" 

"Januarn lotft, 1S62.— At dinner at Arlington, Vir- 
ginia. Received a note flrom the Assistant Secretary 
of War, saying the President wished to see me that 
«veuing at eight o'clock, if I could safely leave my 
post. 900U after 1 received a note from Qnartermas- 
t«*-geueral Weigs, marked ' private and cuufldeutial,' 
sayntg the Fra.«ident wished to see me. 

,. Repaired to the President's house at eight o'clock 
p. iii. Fonud the President alone. Was taken into 
the small room in the north-east corner. Soiiu after 
we were joined by Brigadier -general Franklin, the 
Secretaiy of State, Governor Seward, the Seci*etJ\rv of 
the ^Treasury, oi^d th^ A^sistapt Secretary of War. 
The President was greatly disturbed at the state of 
afitiira. Spoke of the exhausted condition of the 
treasury; of the loss of public credit; of the delicate 
condiUon of onr foreign relations ; of the bad news 
he had I'eceived from the West, particularly as con- 
tained in a letter from General Halleok on the slate 
of affairs in Missouri; of the want of co-operation be- 
tween Generals Halleck and Bnell ; but more than 
all, the sickness of General McClellau. 

"The President said he was in great distress, and 
had sent for General Franklin and myself to ob- 
tain our opinion as to the possibility of soon com- 
mencingactive operations with the Army of the Pt»- 
tomac TTo use his own expre.'^siini, 'If soniethiug was 
notsooii done, the bottom would be out of the whole 
aflWr ; and if General McClellan did not want to nsei 
the array, he would like to borrow it, provided he 
-coald see how it could he made to do something 1' " 


'ftlE L'lFte'oS' JAMES a, 'GAElFiELto. 

which (destroyed the power of speech, and he 
made frantic sighs for water ; ahother, a daik- 
hued to'aVi, Was lying linder a tree, his thigh bro- 
ken. He vVas stern and morose, asking only for 
one thing — to be put out Of his misery. The 
other said, kihdiy, " You will soou be taken to a 
surgeon ; he will relieve you." 

Then the man faltered out, " I thank yon.'" 

An old miin sat at the foot of a stump, with a 
ball directly through the base of his brain. A 
ghastly smite was on his face, his eye's looked 
wildly oiit ujibn the liight, and his breath was 
rapid and heavy. He was a breathing corpse — 
dead, and ylet living. 

'Ihe (itUosphere of death was on the earth ; 
it was a scene on which one needs look but once 
to reitteibber it forever. • 

Thus elided this reniarkable battle. It was 
the first wave ill the tide of victory, which, with 
now and then ah ebbing flow, swept on to the 
capture of Richmond. President Lincoln, when 
he hekrd of it, said to a distinguished airm'y o£S- 
cer who happened to be with him, 

"Why did Garfield, in two weeks, do what 
Would have taken one of you Regular folks tWo 
months to accomplish ?" 

" Because he wias not educated a!t West Point," 
answered the West-Poiiiter, laughing. 

"No," replied Mr. Lincoln ; " that W'asn't the 
reason, tt was because, when he was a boy, he 
had to work fur a living." 

Another iiight on the frozen ground, and dur- 
ing it, the Union commander ;pondered the situa- 
tion. Marshall's forces were broken and demor- 
alized. Though in full retreat, they might be 
overtalten arid clestroyed; but his own troops were 
half desid with fatigue and exposure, and had less 
than three days' rations. In these circumstances 
Garfield prudently decided to occupy Preston- 
burg, and await the arrival of, additional supplies 
before dealing a final blow at the enemy. 

On the day succeeding the battle, he issued 
the following address to his army, which tells, in 
brief, the story of the campaign : 


I am proud of you all 1 In four weeks you have 
marched, some eighty and some a hundred miles, 
over almost Impassable roads. One night in four 
yon have slept, often in the storm, with only a 
wintry sky above your heads. You have marched 
in the face of a foe of more than double your 
number — led on by chiefs who have won a na- 
tional renown under the Old Flag — intrenched 
in hills of his own choosing, iind strengthened by 
all the appliances of military art. With no ex- 
perience but the consciousness of your own man- 
hood, you have driven him from his strongholds, 
pursued his inglorious flight, and compelled him 
to meet you in battle. When forced toiight, he 
sought the shelter of rocks and hills. You drove 
him from his position, leaving scores of his bloOdy 
dead uubni-ied. His artillery thundered against 
you, but you compelled him to flee by the light 
of his burning stores, and to leave even the ban- 
ner of his rebellion behind him. I greet you as 
brave men. Our common country will not for- 
get yon. She will not forget the sacred dead who 
fell beside you, nor those of your comrades who 
won scars of honor on the field. 

"I have recalled you from the pursuit that 
you may regain vigor for still greater exertions. 
Let no one tarnish his well-earned honor by any 
act unworthy an American soldier. Remember 
your duties as American citizens, and sacredly 
respect the rights and property of those with 
whom you may come in contact. Let it not be 
said that good men dread the approach of an 
American army. 

' ' Officers aud soldiers, your duty has been no- 
bly done. For this I thank you." 

The army, as has been said, had less than three 
days' rations. The rainy season had set in, and 
the roads had become impassable for any hut 
hoi'semen. The river was the only resource ; 
but the Big Sandy was now swollen beyond its 
banks, and its rapid current, filled with floating 
logs and liptorn tiees, rendered navigation a thing 
of seciiiini; Impossibility. The oldest boatmen 
of the district shook their heads, and refused to 



attempt the perilous voyage. In these circum- 
stances, Brown, the Scout and ex-canal-boutman, 
who had returned from his circuit of lyiarshall's 
camp with u bullet through his hat, which had 
clipped off one of his blkck curls, said to Gar- 
field, " It's which and t'other, Gineral Jim — starv- 
in' or drowniu'. I"d rutlier drown nur starve. 
So, guv the word, and, dead or alive, I'll git down 
the river!" 

Garfield gave the word, and, alone, in a small 
skiff, tlie ex-boatman and the Union Comman- 
der "got down the liver." It now whs a raging 
torrent, sixty feet iii depth, arid, in many place's, 
aboVe the tofis of the tall trees which grew along 
its margin. In some dee)) and narrow gorges, 
where the steep bariks shut closely, down upon 
the stream, the^e trees had been undeririined at 
the roots, and, falling iriward, had locked their 
arms together, fbrming a net-work that well-nigh 
prevented the pas's^e of the small skifl' and its 
two riavigatoi's. , Whi^i'e a smaill skiff cOutd 
scarcely pass, could they riin a large steamboat 
loaded with provisions ? Other men inight as'k 
this question, but not the backwoods boy who 
bad learned navigation on the waters of the Ohio 
and Pennsylvania Canal. He pushed on to tfie 
mouth of the river, and there took possession of 
the Sandy Valley, a srriall steamer in tHe quarter- 
master's service. Loading her with supplies, he 
set about starting up the river, bdt the captain 
of the boalt declared the thing was impossible. 
Not stopping to argue the point, Garfield order- 
ed him and his crew on board, and, hiniself tait- 
ing the helm, selt out up the river. Brown he 
stationed at the bow, where, with a long fendine- 
pote in his hand, be was to keep one eye on tne 
flOatirig logs and uprooted trees, the other on the 
chicken-hearted captain. "The river surged and 
boiled arid whirled against the boat, tossing her 
about as if she were a cockle-shell. With every 
turn of her wheels she treiribled from stem to 
stern, and with a full head of steam could only 
stagger along at the rate of three miles an hour. 
When night came the captain begged to tie up 
till morning, for breasting that flood in the dark 
was sheer madness; but Brown cried out, "Put 
her ahead, Gineral Jim," and Garfield clutched 
the helm, and drove her on through the dark- 
ness. Soon they cairie to a sudden bend iii the 
stream, w^here the swift current formed a furious 
whirlpool, and this, catching the laboring boait, 
whirled her suddenly round, and drove ber, head 
on, into the quicksand's. Mattocks were plied, 
and excavations made around the embedded bow, 
arid the bowsman uttered oaths loud enough to 
have raised a small earthquake ; but still the 
boat was immovable. She was stuck fast in 
the mud, and every effort to move her was fruit- 
less, Garfield ordered a small boat to be low- 
ered, to take a line to the other bank, by which 
to warp the steamer free ; but the captain, and 
now the crew, protested it was certain death to 
tempt that foaming torrent at midnight. They 
might as well have repeated to him the Creed 
and the Ten Commkndments, for Garfield him- 
self spi'ang into the boat, and called to Brown 
to follow. He took the helm, and laid hei- bow 
across the stream, but the swift currerit swept 
them downwai-d. After incre<lil)le labor they 
made the opposite bank, but far belOw the steam- 
boat. Closely hugging the shore, they now crept 
up the sti'eam, and fastening the line to a tree, 
rigged a windlass, and finally warped the vessel 
I again into deep water. All that night, and all 
I the next day, and all the following night they 
struggled with the furious river, Garfield never 
but once leaving the helm, and then for only a 
few horn's' sleep, which he snatched, in his clothes, 
in the daytime. At last they rounded to at the 
Union camp, and then went up a cheer that might 
have been heard all over Kentucky. Jlis waiting 
men, frantic with joy, seized their glorious com- 
mander, and were with difficulty prevented fi-om 
bearing him on their shoulders to his quarters.* 

* The brave fellow, Bnnvn, came to a sad .ending. 
Speaking of him in a letter to the writer, dated May 
Slst, 1S64, General Garfield says, "When we first met 
he recognized me as an. old acquaiutauce ou the Ohio 
Canal. He at once look a sort of enthusiastic pride 
in me, aud with a rough, generous nature, was rea^ 
to make any personal sacrifices to aid me to snccesk 
I He was not trusted by most of our people : indeed 



A state of general alarm existed throughout 
the district. The retreating Confederates had 
spread the most exaggerated reports of the 
strength and character of the Uniou forces, and 
the simple country people looked for a reign of 
terror which would deprive them all, loyal and 
disloyal, of life and property. The result was 
Ihat, fleeing from their homes, they hid away in 
the woods and mountains, and the towns for a 
time were well-nigh deserted. To allay this 
alarm, and restore society to more of its nor- 
mal condition, Garfield, during the week follow- 
ing the battle, issued the following proclamation : 

"Head-quarters, Eighteenth Brigade, 
Paiiitville, Ky., Jan. 16th, 1SS2. 
" Citizens op thu; Sandy Valley, — I have 
come among you to restore the honor of the 
Union, and to bring back the Old Banner which 
you all once loved, but which, by the machina- 
tions of evil men, and by mutual misunderstand- 
ings, has been dishonored among you. To those 
wlio are in arms against the Federal Govern- 
ment I oifer only the alternative of battle or un- 
conditional surrender; but to those who have 
taken no part in this war,who are in no way aid- 
ing or abetting the enemies of the Union, even 
to those who hold sentiments adverse to the 
Union, but yet give no aid and comfort to its 
enemies, I offer the full protection of the Govern- 
ment, both in their persons and property. 

"Let those who have been seduced away from 
the love of their country, to follow after and aid 
the destroyers of our peace, lay down their arms, 
return to their homes, bear true allegiance tci tlie 
Federal Government, and they also shall enjoy 
lilie protection. The army of the Union wages 
no war of plunder, but comes to bring back the 
prosperity of peace. Let all peace-loving citizens 
who have fled from tlieir homes return, and re- 
sume again the pursuits of peace and industry. 
If citizens have suffered from any outrages by 
the soldiers under my command, I invite them to 
make known their complaints to me, and their 
wrongs shall be redressed, and the offenders pun- 
ished. I expect the friends of the Union in this 
valley to banish from among them all private 
feuds, and to let a liberal-minded love of country 
direct their conduct toward those who have been 
so sadly estranged and misguided. I hope that 
these days of turbulence may soon end, and the 
better days of the Republic may soon return. 
" (Signed), J. A. Gaefield, 

"Coloneil commanding Brigade." 

many of them attempted to convince me that he was 
not only a rascal, but a Rebel. I think he had an eye 
for a ffood horse, and did not always closely distin- 
guish between meuin and tuum ; but my remembrance 
of him ou the canal, together with a feeling that he 
loved me, made me trust him implicitly. 1 thiuk he 
was never perfectly happy till he helped me to navi- 
gate the little steamer up the Big Sandy in the high 
water. Indeed, 1 could not have done that without 
hie aid. He was about fc)rty years old— a short, stocky, 
sailor -looking fellow, somewhat bloated with hard 
drinking : in short, he was a rare combination of good 
and had qualities, with strong traits— a ruined man : 
and yet, underneath the ruins, a great deal of gener- 
ous, self- sacrificing noble - heartedness, which made 
one deplore his fall, and yet like him. He went North 
ou some personal business just before I left the Saudy 
Valley, and 1 received a dirty note from him, written 
from Buffalo, iu which he said he shonid meet me 
somewhere in ' the tide of battle,' and flght by ray 
Bide again, but I have not heard from him since." 

This was in 1864. Ten years afterward, as General 
Garfield was about to dehver an address at Cornell, 
a heavy hand was laid upon his shoulder, and, turn- 
ing about, be saw his ex-soont and old boat-compau- 
ion. He was even a more perfect ruin than before — 
with bleared eyes, bloated face, and garments that 
were half tatters. He had come, he said, while the 
tears rolled down his cheeks, to that quiet place to 
die, and now he could die iu peace, because he had 
seen his Giueral. 

Garfield gave him money, and got him quarters 
among some kiudpeople, and left him, telling him to 
try to be a man ; but, in any event, to let him know if 
he ever ueeded further help. A year or more passed, 
and no word came fiiim Brown ; but then the Superin- 
tendent of the public hospital at Buffalo wrote the 
General that a man was there very sick, who in his 
delirium talked of him, of the Ohio Canal, and of the 
Sandy Valley expedition. Garfield knew at once that 
it was Brown, aud immediately foi-warded funds to 
the hos-pital, asking that he should have every possi- 
ble care and comfort. The letter which acknowl- 
edged the remittance auuouuced that the poor fellow 
had died— died muttering, in his delirium, the name 
"Jim Garfield." 

Garfield gave him a decent burial, and this was the 
last of the poor fellow. 

Encouraged by this promise of protection, the 
people soon issued from their hiding-places, and 
began to flock about the Union head-quarters. 
From them various reports were received of the 
whereabouts and intentions of Marshall. By 
some it was said that, re-enforced by three Vir- 
ginia regiments and six field-pieces, he had made 
a stand, and was fortifying himself in a strong 
position about thirty miles above, on the waters 
of the Big Beaver ; by others, that he was mere- 
ly collecting provisions, and, preparing to retreat 
into Tennessee as soon as the runs and rivers 
should become passable. 

The best information, however, indicated that 
Marshall had made a stand, and was still within 
the limits of i Kentucky. It was to Garfield of 
the first moment to learn his exact position, and 
to this end he despatched a body of a hundred 
hor.semen, under Captain Jenkins, of the Ohio 
cavalry, with orders to go up the Big Sandy as 
far as Piketon, and not to return until they had 
ascertained the position and intentions of the 

Jenkins did his work well, and Garfield soon 
was in possession of the desired information. 
Marshall himself had evacuated Kentucky, but 
his forces were not entirely driven from the State. 
They had fortified a strong position at Pound 
Gap, and radiating from there, swarms of gueiil- 
las were still overrunning all the lower counties, 
robbing and murdering defenceless men and 
women. More important still was the informa- 
tion that Marshall had issued an order for a 
grand muster of the Confederate militia on the 
1.5th of March. They were to meet at the 
"Pound," in the rear of their intrenchments, 
and it was expected they would muster in suf- 
ficient force 'to enter Kentucky, and drive the 
Union forces before them. 

Pound Gap is a wild and irregular opening in 
the Cumberland Mountains, about forty-five miles 
south-west of Piketon. It is the only channel 
of wagon communication between the southerly 
portions of Virginia and Kentucky, and takes its 
name from a fertile tract of meadow-land which 
skirts the southerly base of the mountains, and is 
enclosed by a narrow stream called Pound Fork. 
In the early history of the district this mountain 
locality was the home of a tribe of Indians, who 
made periodical expeditions into Virginia for 
plunder. Returning with the stolen cattle of 
the settlers, they pastured them in this meadow- 
enclosure, and hence it acquired the name of the 
"Pound," which in time it gave to both the 
Gap and streamlet. 

In this " Pound," and on the summit of the 
gorge through which the road passes, the Confed- 
erates had built log-hnts, capable of quartering 
twelve hundred men ; and across the opening of 
the Gap they had erected a formidable breast- 
work that completely blocked the passage, and 
which five hundred could hold against five thou- 

For several weeks Pound Gap had been gar- 
risoned by about six hundred Confederate mili- 
tia, under Major Thompson ; and though inca- 
pable of effective service in the field, they had 
held this gate -way into Virginia, and main- 
tained a constant reign of terror among the 
Union citizens of all the lower counties. Issuing 
from their stronghold on the mountains, small 
parties of this gang would descend into the val- 
leys, rob and murder peaceable inhabitants, and, 
before pursuit could be begun, would be again 
behind their bieastworks. Many of pred- 
atory bands had been captured, in consequence 
of the ceaseless activity of the loyal Kentucky 
cavalry ; but as soon as one party was made 
prisoners another would appear in the valley, 
until it was evident that the only way to effect- 
ually stop their incursions was to break up their 
nest on the mountain. This Garfield had long 
determined to do. He had waited only for re- 
liable information as to the strength and position 
of the guerillas, and for a definite description of 
the route to be taken to get in the rear of their 

Garfield at once determined to forestall the in- 
tended gathering of forces on the 15th of March, 
and to disperse the entire swarm of guerillas. 
With two hundred aud twenty of the Fortieth 

Ohio, under Colonel Cranor; two hundred of 
the Forty- second Ohio, under Major Pardee; 
one hundred and eighty of the Twenty -second 
Kentucky, under Major Cook ; and a hundreJ 
cavalry, under Major M'Laughlin, he set out od. 
the following morning, with three days' rations 
in the haversacks of the men, and a quantity of 
provisions packed on the backs of mules. 

The highways were deep in mud, and the count- 
less rivulets which ramify through this mountain 
region were filled with ice, and swollen into rush- 
ing torrents ; but pressing on over the rough 
roads, and in the midst of a drenching rain, the 
little army, late on the night of the second day, . 
reached Elkhorn Cjeek, a small stream which 
flows along the northern base of the mountains, 
and empties into the Big Sandy, only two miles 
below the Confederate position. There they 
went into camp on the wet ground, and waited 
for the morning. 

Garfield's plan was to send his small party of 
horsemen up the road to make a demonstration 
against the enemy's intrenchments, and to en- 
gage his attention, while, with the infantry, he 
should climb the steep side of the mountain, and,, 
filing along the narrow ledge of rocks on its sum-, 
mit, reach the Gap, and attack the flank of the 
Confederate position. To prove successful, the- 
movement must be executed with the utmost se- 
crecy, and a guide must be obtained to conduct 
the infantry over the mountain. To these ends . 
every male resident of the vicinity was brought , - 
into camp, where he was detained, to prevent his 
carrying information to the enemy, and ques- 
tioned as to some practicable route to the rear 
of his intrenchments. There was, they said, no 
route. The mountain was steep, and in some 
places precipitous, and it was tangled with dense- 
thickets, obstructed with fallen logs, and covered, 
with huge boulders, which, coated with ice and 
snow, formed an almost impassable barrier to- 
the passage of any living thing save the panther 
or the catamount. But if, in the face of all these 
obstacles, the summit weie at last gained by the 
adventurous band, they would be obliged to thread 
for a Ibng distance a narrow ledge, which rose- 
like a knife-edge, and was in places so narrow 
that two persons could not pass it abreast. This 
ledge was buried three feet deep in yielding snow ; 
one false step would be death, and ten determined 
men could dispute the passage of an army. 

Though tempted with liberal offers of money, 
not one of the natives would undertake to guide, 
the expedition. In these circumstances, Gar- 
field lay down at midnight on the floor of a 
wretched log-shanty near the foot of the moun- 
tain. The prospect was in no way encouraging ; 
in fact, the difiSculties seemed well-nigh insur- 
mountable. But turning back was out of the 
fluestion. Guide or no guide, he would attempt 
to scale the mountain in the morning. 

In the morning the snow was falling so thick.^ 
ly that objects only a few rods distant were to- 
tally invisible; but at nine o'clock the little- 
body of cavalry was sent up the road to engage 
the attention of the enemy, and .draw him from 
his intrenchments; and then the infantry was 
set in motion. In a long, bristling, serpent-like- 
column, catching at every twig and shrub and 
fallen log that lay in their way, they clambered 
slowly up the icy mountain-side, steadying thrar 
steps as well as they could by their bayonets and 
musket-barrels. The ridge at this point rises two 
thousand feet above the valley, and half-way up 
breaks into abrupt precipices, which defy the ap- 
proach of any foot but that of the deer or the 
chamois. The ascent was long and toilsome, but 
at last they reached the summit of the mountain ; 
and here they paused to rest their tired limbs, 
and catch a glimpse of the magnificent view that 
stretched away far below them. They were 
above the storm, and the snow was falling thickly 
lower down the mountain, but here the eye could 
range for thirty miles, east and west, into three- 
States, and over a most enchanting country. 

They now were two and a half miles from the 
point where the Confederate garrison was posted, 
and noiselessly they set out again, for discovery 
was only another name for destruction. It was 
a march of three hours. Garfield led the way 
through tangled thickets, over iee-coated logs, 

across abrupt chaBms, to a point where a vieir 
was had of the fortifications in tlie Gnp below 
them. " We are within half a mile of their po- 
sition," he whispered to Lienteniint Lake, who 
had come up, and was stiiiuling beside him. 
' ■ Yonder is their outside picket ; but the way is 
clear — if we press on at the double-quick we have 

The picket had now descried the advancing 
column, and, firing his gun, he set out at the 
top of his speed for the intrenchments. A dozen 
muskets made shrill music about his ears, but he 
kept on, and the eager blue coats followed. When 
within sight of the camp, a line was thrown down 
along the eastern slope of the mountain, and, 
pressing rapidly forward, was formed along the 
deep gorge through which the high-road passes. 
Up to this time the Confederates had been skir- 
mishing with the cavalry in front of their breast- 
works ( but now they gathered on the hill direct- 
ly opposite the advanced position of the Union 

To try the range, Garfield sent a volley across 
the gorge, and, as the smoke cleared away, he 
saw the unformed line melt like mist into the op- 
posite forest. The enemy's position being now 
understood, the men of the Fortieth and Forty- 
second Ohio were ordered to the already formed 
left wing, and then along the line rang the words, 
" Press forward; scale the hill, and carry it with 
the bayonet!" 

A ringing shout was the only answer, and then 
tbe long column swept down the ridge, across the 
raving through the Confederate camp, and up 
the opposite mountain. The enemy fell gradu- 
ally back among the trees, but when the Union 
bayonets clambered the hill, they broke and ran 
in the wildest confusion. The Ohio boys follow- 
ed, firing as they ran, and for a few moments 
the mountain echoed with the sharp, quick re- 
ports of half a thousand rifles ; but pursuit in the 
dense forest was impossible, and soon the recall 
was sounded. 

In a fight of less than twenty minutes the Con- 
federates were utterly routed, and their camp, 
consisting of sixty log-houses, capable of accom- 
modating twelve hundred men, and all their 
stores, were in the hands of the attacking party. 

After spending the night in these comfortable 
quarters. General Garfield burnt the camp, and 
all the stores which he could not carry away, and 
returned to Piketon without the loss of a man, 
having marched over ninety miles in the woret 
of winter weather, and, with » handful of men, 
carried an almost impregnable position, defended 
by superior numbers. Only seven of his men 
were wounded ; but this well-nigh bloodless vic- 
tory rid East Kentucky of Confederate rale for- 

This was the only independent command ever 
held by James A. Garfield ; but by it he' showed 
himself possessed of qualities which would, on a 
wider field, have ranked him among the great 
•commanders of the Union. 

When the news of Colonel Garfield's victory 
at Middle Creek reached the head-quarters of 
the Department, the following General Order was 
issued : 

" Head-qnarters Department of the Ohio, 
Louisville, Ky., January 20th, 1S62. 

" Genera/ Ch-ders, No. 4a. 

"The General Commanding takes occasion 
■to thank Colonel Garfield and his troops for their 
successful campaign against the Rebel force un- 
der General Marshall on the Big Sandy, and their 
gallant conduct in battle. They have overcome 
formidable diiBculties in the character of the 
country, the condition of the roads, and the in- 
clemency of the season ; and, without artillery, 
hare in several engagements, terminating with 
the battle on Middle Creek on the lOth inst., 
driven the enemy from his intrenched positions, 
And forced him back into the mountains with 
the loss of a large amount of baggage and stores, 
-and many of his men killed or captured. 

"These services have called into action the 
iiigbest qualities of a soldier — fortitude, perse- 
•verance, courage. 

"By command of Greneral Bnell. 

" Jambs B. Frt, 
"A. A. G., Chief of Staff." 


A few weeks later Colonel Garfield received 
a commission as Brigadier- general of Volun- 
teers, to date from the battle of Middle Creek. 



THENCEFonwARD the military career of Gen- 
eral Garfield was merged in that of the Army of 
the Cumberland. He held no separate com- 
mand, and hence the traces of his great military 
abilities are lost in the general operations of the 
army, or only now and then seen in the compli- 
mentary allusions to his services which were so 
often made by his snperior ofHcers. It is no 
doubt true that to him, more than to any other 
man, was dae the admirable organization of that 
army, which, despite its misfortunes, saved the 
South-west to the Union. 

Previous to the Found Gap Expedition, Gen- 
eral Garfield bad corresponded with General 
Bosecrans, then commanding the Department 
of West Virginia, and they had united in pro- 
posing to the War Department a plan to destroy 
the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Iteil- 
road, then the only direct line of communication 
between the Gulf States and Richmond. Gen- 
eral Rosecrans was to send a force up New River, 
in West Virginia, to cut the railroad near New- 
bern, while General Garfield was to pass through 
Pound Gap, and cut it at Abingdon, Va., and 
destroy the salt-works at that place. The two 
great Confederate armies of the East and the 
West were at that time fully occupied, and the 
destruction could have been made very com- 
plete. But toward the end of March orders 
were issued creating the Mountain Department 
for General Fremont; Rosecrans was relieved, 
and Garfield was ordered to leave a small force 
to hold the valley of the Sandy, and with the rest 
of his command join General Bnell. 

He reached Louisville with a part of his com- 
mand, and there found an order to report to 
Buell in person, at Nashville. Arriving there, 
he learned that Buell was hurrying to the relief 
of Grant at Pittsburg Landing; and, overtaking 
him on the 5th of April, was at once assigned 
to the command of the Twentieth Brigade, Sixth 
Division of the Army of the Ohio. With Buell 
he reached the battle-field of ^hiloh on the af- 
ternoon of the second day's fight, and in time 
to participate in the victory. He continued with 
Buell's army in its operations around Corinth, 
and on its subsequent march across Northern 

While Garfield was in camp, after the battle 
of Shiloh, a trifling incident occurred, which 
showed the effects of his antislavery education. 
I give the narrative as it is related by a member 
of his staff, but I have heard the general vouch 
for its correctness. 

" One day," says the officer, " I noticed a fu- 
gitive slave come rushing into camp with a 
bloody head, and greatly frightened. He had 
only passed my tent a moment when a regular 
bully of a fellow came riding up, and with a 
volley of oalhs began to ask after his ' nigger.' 
General Garfield was not present, and he passed 
on to the division commander. This division 
commander was a sympathizer with the theory 
that fugitives should be returned to their mas- 
ters, and that Union soldiers should be made the 
instruments for returning them. He according- 
ly wrote a mandatory order to General Garfield, 
in whose command the negro was supposed to 
he hiding, telling him to hunt out and deliver 
over the property of the outraged citizen. I 
stated the case as fully as I could to General 
Garfield before handing him the order, but did 
not color my statement in any way. He took 
the order, and deliberately wrote on it the fol- 
lowing endorsement : 

" ' I respectfully, but positively, decline to al- 
low my command to search for, or deliver up, 
any fugitive slaves. I conceive that they are 
here for quite another purpose. The command 
is open, and no obstacles will be placed in the 
way of the search.' 

"I read the endorsement, and was alarmed. 
T expected that, if it was returned, the result 
would be that the General would be court-mar- 


tialed. I told him my fears. He simply re- 
plied, ' The matter may as well be tested first 
as last. Right is right, and I do not propose to 
mince matters at all. My soldiers are here for 
far other purposes than hunting and returning 
fugitive .slaves. My people, on the Western Re- 
serve of Ohio, did not send my boys and myself 
down here to do that kind of business, and they 
will back me up in my action.' He would not 
alter tbe endorsement, and the order was re- 
turned. Nothing ever came of the matter fur- 

This was the first instance in which a Union 
officer refused to return a fugitive slave. The 
principle of Garfield's action was soon afterward 
embodied in a general order, and thus received 
the endorsement of the War Department. 

In August, 1862, Garfield's health failed, and 
he was sent North on sick leave. As he was 
about leaving for home, he was assigned, by or- 
der of the War Department, to the command of 
the forces at Cumberland Gap, but he was too 
ill to accept the appointment. 

Upon his recovery he was ordered to Washing- 
ton, and detailed as a member of the Fitz-John 
Porter court-martial, which occupied forty-five 
days, and in which his great abilities as a lawyer 
and a soldier were called forth and freely recog- 
nized. When the court adjourned in January, 
1 868, General Garfield was ordered to report to 
Major-general Rosecrans, commanding the Army 
of the Cumberland, whose head-qnarters were 
then at Murfreesborough, Tenn. He was wait- 
ing here a reorganization of the army, when 
Rosecrans met him personally, and becoming in- 
terested in him, assigned him to the position of 
Chief of Staff, recently made vacant by the death 
of Colonel Garech^, whose head had been car- 
ried away by a solid shot at the battle of Stone 
River. It was here (in May, 1863) that I first 
met General Garfield ; and I may be pardoned 
if I now quote from a sketch which I soon af- 
terward wrote, for it gives the impression which 
he then made upon a total stranger. I had 
gone there as a looker-on, and this was my first 
appearance at head-quarters. I was shown into 
a large, scantily-furnished room, and there, " In 
a corner by the window " (1 quote from "Down 
in Tennessee," published in 1864), "seated at a 
small pine desk — a sort of packing-box, perched 
on a long-legged stool, and divided into pigeon- 
holes, with a turn-down lid — was a tall, deep- 
chested, sinewy -built man, with regular, mas- 
sive features, a full, clear blue eye, slightly 
dashed with gray, and a high, broad forehead, 
rising into a ridge over the eyes, as if it had been 
thrown up by a plough. There was someihing 
.singularly engaging in his open, expressive face, 
and his whole appearance indicated, as tbe 
phrase goes, 'great reserved power.' His uni- 
form, though cleanly brushed, and sitting easily 
upon him, had a sort of democratic air, and ev- 
erything about him seemed to denote that he 
was 'a man of the people.' A rusty slouched 
hat, large enough to have fitted Danid Webster, 
lay on the desk before him, but a glance at that 
was not needed to convince me that his head 
held more than the common share of brains. 
Though he is yet young — not thirty-two — the 
reader has heard of him, and if he lives he will 
make his name long remembered in our history. 
He glanced at me as I approached, and when I 
mentioned my name, rose, and extending his 
hand in a free, cordial way, said, 

" ' I am glad to meet you. I have seen your 
handwriting — Edmund Kirke, his (x) mark.' 

" ' And I have seen yours,' I replied, grasping 
his hand with equal cordiality. ' But you write 
with a steel pen — epics in the measure of " Hail, 

" I sat down, and in ten minutes knew him as 
well as I might have known some other men in 
ten years." 

Life in an encamped army is somewhat bar- 
ren of incidents, and but few occurred while 
I was at Murfreesborough that I have not al- 
ready elsewhere related. One or two, however, 
are somewhat indicative of Garfield's character, 
and hence may be worthy of mention. Rose- 
crans was a late worker, and often kept the 
members of his staff up till very unseasonable 


hours. The result wfis, that if not actually en- 
gaged in some active duty, the yoiing gentlemen 
would often drop off to sleep ; and this more 
frequently happened with the poor orderlies, 
who were stationed in the hall outside, in readi- 
ness to go upon messages for the officers. Be- 
ing forbidden to tallc together, and having noth- 
ing whatever to engage their attention, they 
ijvould generally, toward the small hours of the 
morning, depute one of their number to remain 
on watch, and go quietly to sleep at their posts. 
On one occasion, very late at night, these ordei- 
Ijes had rolled themselves in their blankets on 
the hall floor, leaving orderly sergeant Daugher- 
ty to awake them in case any orders came from 
Oead-quarters. Tilting his chair against the 
wall by the general's door, the sergeant ha^ 
^ti;etched his legs out to ~ their utiiji^st length,' 
and fallen fast asleep, when the door sudtijen- 
ly opened, and General (Jarfield emerged at a 
Cjuiclt pac^ from the inner ropip. A single tal- 
lo\v-canille lighted th^ h4H only dimly, and, not 
observing the! sergei^nt's outstretched lesgs, the 
Genai-al stunjiblfid over them, and fell on his 
hands and knpes to the floor. A. stout njan, W 
game 'down heavily. The affrigfited sergeant 
^rang to his feet, and, a^ the (general rpse, 
stood at "atitention " and saluted, biit expecting 
to be certainly cuffed, and perhaps kicked fiom 
one end of t)i^ hall to the other for his be^dless- 
fiess. 'l^q his' astpnishraent, the General quietly 
^ather?4, himself up, and saying, kindly, "Ex- 
cuse tne,'sergean|;," passed on as if nothing lia,(J 
happ^nea. This incident, though, trifling in it- 
self, shows, that a man may be born iii a log-cab- 
in and yet be a gentleman, 

Anofh^r incident,, of more import^pqe, is also 
illiistrative of some, traits in General darfield's 
Character. I have before related the principal 
^cts, but nevev till now have published all the 
^tteiiding cjrcutnstances. 

■ Ope day, during this visit to IJurfreesboroujjh, 
i^^ I was sitting alone xMth, Rosecrans, an aid 
^ntered the room and handed him a, letter. He 
Qpened it, apd tecarne at once abs^'l^^d ii) its 
contents. He reread it, and, handing it to me, 
s.aid, "ReaiJ that tell ijie what you think of 
it." I read it. l(js outside indicated that it had 
(jpip.e oypr a ro^d " (lard to travel, " but its con- 
tents st^rtleil me. It was writl^en in a round, un- 
practised hand, biit, though badly spelled, showed 
that its author was faojiliar with good Southern 
Ejnglish. Its date was May 18th, 186.3, arid it 
an thus : ' 

"Qeneral,^A plan has be?n ^dopt^d for a 
simultaneous niovement or rising to sever the 
Rebel communications throughout the whole 
^outh, which is npw disclosed to some general 
in eaclvinilitary departmeiit in the Secesh' States, 
in prder that they may act in concert, and thus 
ihs.iire us success, , i 

" The plan is for thp blacks to make a concerted 
and simultaneous rising, on the night of the 1st 
of August next, over the whole States in rebejllion. 
To, arm th,e,raselve,s with any and every kind of 
vveapon that may come to hand, and commence, 
operations by' burning all railroad and county 
bridges, tearing up all railroad tracks, and cut- 
ting and destroying telegraph wires — and vfhen 
this is done, take to the vyoods, the swamps, or 
the mountains, whence they may emergp, as oo- 
•asions may offer, for proyisions or fot: furthejr 
depredations. No blood is to be shed except in 

" The corn will be in roasting^ear abqut tljg 
1st of August, and upon this, and by (braging 
on the farms at night, ^e can subsist. Con- 
certed movemetit at the time named would be 
successful, and the Eebellion be brought sudden- 
ly to an end." 

The letter went on with some other details, 
and ended thus : " The plan will be simultane- 
ous over the whole South, and yet few of all en- 
gaged will know of its extent. Please write 
"Z," and " approved," and send by the' bearer, 
that we may know t/ou are with us. 

"Be assured, peneral, that a copy of this l^t- 
^r has been sent to every military department 
in the Qorifedejrate States, tbat the time of the, 


movement may thus be general over the entire 

I was rereading the letter, when the General 
again said, "'What do you thinik of it?" 

I answered, " It would end the Rebellion. Co- 
operated with by our forces, it would certainly 
succeed, but the South would run with blood." 

"Innocent blood; women ^nd children?" he 
asked. "Yes, women and children. If you let 
the bla,pks loose, they \yill rtjsh into carnage like 
horses into a burning barn. St. Domingo will 
be multiplied by a million." 

" But he says no blood is to be, shed, except 
in self-diefencp," 

" He says so, and tbe les^ders may mean, it, 
but they cannqt restrain the rabble. Every slavp 
has spine r^iil or fanpied wrong, ^n^ hp ivfluld 
liake sucfi a time to avenge, it." 

" 'Well, I mqst ta,llf v^ith Garfield- Come, go 
wiith me." 

" ^e prp^sed the street to Garfleld's lodgings, 
apd fpund ifiij} bolstered up in bed, quite sick 
with a feiiei;. Rosecrans S£it dpwn on the fo<it 
of his bpd §nd handed him the letter- Garfield 
read it over carpfuUy, and then laying it do,w;n, 

"It will never do, Genpi^al. We. don't wai^t 
to, whip by. such means." 

" I kne\v,yo,u'd say so," said Rose,c,rans; " but 
he speaks qf other department commanders — 
may they not qome iijto it ?" 

"Yps, they njay, and that should be looked 

to. Mr. has beer) speaking of going home 

eY,ery, day, for a fortnight. Now let him go; and 
send tb''"! letter by hitu to the Pi;esitdent. Let Mr. 
Lincoln head pfFtlje movemen^." 

That afterriopn I was on my way North, and in 
a couple of diiys, in a privatp. interview, laid thp 
letter bpfore Mr. Lipcoln. He read, it over 
thdnghtfully, anotheri said, " Is not this a hpax ?" 

"^t may be, si>:, but it looks and sounds H^e 
a genuinp document. " 

"That is true; but what do IJiO?p,crans and 
G^i-field think 'of i,t ?" 

I told him. 

"And, they want me to put my foot upon,i|?" 

"They do; and Garfield, particularly, urges 
that you give it immediate attentipn. He thinks 
the country will be seriously compromised if the 
project is countenanced for a moment." 

"He i^ right; and I will give if, immediate 
attention. I vyill thanic you if you will write thetiu 
to that effect." ' , ' 

This was in the latter part of May, and early 
in Jupe following I received a letter from Gar- 
field, of which the following is ap pxtract: "I 
am clearly of opinion that the negro project is 
every vyay bad, and should be repudiated, and, if 
possible, thwarted. If the sl^ives should, of their 
own accord, rise and assert their original righf to 
themselves, and cut their way through Rebeldom, 
that is their own affivir ; but thp Government 
could have no complicity with it without out- 
raging the sense of justice pf thp civilised world'. 
We should create great sympathy for tlje Rebels 
abroad, and God knows they have top much al- 
ready. I hope you will ye|nti|a)te the whole thing 
in the Trfl/une, and show that the Governinept 
and people disavow it." 

Another letter from him, which I received a 
few days latpr said : " The negi'o schetne of 
which we talked ha^ been pi:e5sed upon us again, 
and the letter asserts that five out qf our ninp 
department commandprs have tipprpved it. An- 
other letter, received yesterday, says onp iftpre 
department has gone into it, and the scheme is 
being rapidly and thoroughly perfected, and the 
blow will certainly be struck." 

This last letter showed that no time was to be 
lost, and I at once' tool? the train for 'Washing- 
ton, and called again on Mr. Lincoln. He read 
the two letters in his quiet, thoughtful way; then 
laying them down, and moving his one leg from 
where it dangled across the other, he s^id, em- 
phatically, "That Garfield is a trump — there is 
no discount upon that." 

Not being in a mood to listen to a eulogy upon 
Garfield, or any one else, I hastily assented, and 
vvas about to ask him what he had done abput 
the negro project, v^hen hp went pn, "Dp ypu 

know, that jpb pf his on the Big Sandy was the 
cleanest thing that has been done in the w;ar. 
It's something to have been bprn in a log-shapty." 

"And to have split rails!" I replied, smiling. 

"Yes," he answered, "and I'll bet Garfield 
has done that." 

" I don't know about him ; but it is a fact 
that his mother has." 

" Is that so ?" he said, laughing. " Well, that 
accounts foi- Garfield — he had a good mother." 

Then subsiding into a serious mood, he added, 
"But, as Garfield says, that negro business ia 
bad e,*ery way, t^nd we can't afford it. I think 
I haye piiit piy foot npon it." 

"Apd ahput vpntilating it in the Tribune, as- 
he suggeists, Mr. Lincqln^^shall I do that ?" ' 

" Not yep ; I haye scotched the snake, not kill- 
ed i;t. 'Syhen it is dead will be time enough to 
preach its, funeral seripon." 

"And ypu will let me know when ypti are 
ready fqr the sei*non ?." 

He pi-omised that he would, and soon thp ip- 
tprvipw ended. 

1 waited for a few days, apd thpn, not hearlpgj 
i^roip }/f.r. Lincoln, 'wrote i)\ro, aslfing if the time 
had not come when I could prpperly yentilatiet 
thp negro project. I was pot ^p dpsirons of giv- 
ing it publicity as apxipps to hear of its having 
bepn suppressed ; and if he cpnsented tp publi- 
cation, it wpuld indicatp that fact clparly. His 
reply is before me, in a letter fi-om bis priyatp; 
secretary, Mr. John G. Nicolay, dated June 14th, 
1864. So much of the letter as refers to thia 
subject is as follows: "The President has "o 
objection wbateypr to your publisliing what you 
propose concerning the npgro insurrection, pro- 
viding you do not in any way connect his name 
with it." ' 

I do npt assert that this projected ipsurrection 
was lipt, what M''- Lincoln at first surmispd it 
ipight be, a hoax. I simply affirm that Gener- 
als Rospcrans and Garfield (and soon the Presi- 
dent also) believed it to be a real danger, which 
thrpajtened, the ^puth w,ith all the horrors of St. 
Domingo, and I would merely call attention to 
their actipn in relation to it. If Christian men 
ever acted niqre like Christians, or if any man, 
Chr,istip,n or heathen, ever uttered more mag- 
nanimp^s spptimpnts toward a threatened ene- 
my than thpse writtpp by Garfield, I have yet to 
know it. 

We all know that the insurrection did not, taka 
place, and If haj^e mysplf doubted if the intepd.ed. 
uprising \vas sp wide-spread and universal as the 
letters indicated ; but when we reflect that a hun- 
dred, or evpn fifty, intelligent and resplutje men, 
actjing in concert in as many different localities^ 
and aided by ppr troops, might at apy time dur- 
ing the war have lighted a negro conflagration 
which, once startpd, would soon have invplyed 
the whole South, even the strongest statement 
of the possible danger will not seem improbable. 
The uprising was fixed for thp 1st of August, 
and we know that serious outbreaks occurred 
among the blacks of Georgia and Alabama io 
Septeniher. May npt those have been the work 
of subordinate leaders, who, maddened at the 
miscarriage of the main design, were determined 
to carry out their own part of thp programme at 
all hazards ? 

Mr. Lincoln was always very reticent abont 
the part he took in, thp affair. To my occasional 
indirect questions hp plways, but once, retqrned 
evasive answers, apd then he said, "When the 
right time comes, I will tell you thp whole of that 
stpry." The assassin's bullet cut shprt the s);pry. 

'While pur forces lay at Murfreesborough, Gen- 
eral Garfield organized the admirable secret-ser- 
vice system of the Army of the Cumberland, which 
gave Rospcrnps such perfect information of the 
movements of thp pnemy, and put an end to the 
extensive spiuggling of cotton through the army 
linps which wiis being carried on by professed 
Union men high in civil and military positions. 
In this last he at first met with strenuous oppo- 
sition, and then was offered enormous bribes to 
Ipt things go on in their former routine; bnt 
this young officer, with a bare stipend of only 
three thousand dollars from his rank as Briga- 
dier, was proof against both bribes and blan- 
dishn^pnts, and, with the cordial help of Rose- 

crans, he soon cleaned ont tlie Augean stables. 
Had he but. done as others did — merely shut his 
eyes to this oomrabaiul traffic — lie niislit have 
made, during tlie five months the nrmv lav at 
Muvfreesborongh. at least a million of dollars. 
And yet we are told that at a subsequent period 
he sold him^:elf to Dakes Ames for three luni- 
dred and twenty-nine dollars! 

The Army of the Cuinbeiland lay idle he- 
fore Mnrfreesborough from Jainuiry 4th to June 
2-tth, 18()3. The War Department demanded 
an advance, and the coimtry clamored tor it, be- 
lieving that the hero of .Stone River had onlv to 
move to command victory. But for five months 
Kosecrans remained inactive till he had, as well 
as he conld, completed the reorganization of his 
army. Then he addressed letters to each of his 
corps, division, and cavalry commanders, asking 
as to the advisability of a foiward movement. 
Tliey answered in writing, and not one favored 


yon to understand that it is a rash and fatal 
move, for which you will be held responsible." 

"Tiie rasli and fatal move was the Tnllahoma 
campaign— a campaign perfect in its conception, 
excellent in its general execution, and oulv hin- 
dered from resnliing in the complete destruction 
of the opposing army by the delays which bad 
too long postponed its commencement. It, might 
even yet have destroyed Bragg, but for the ter- 
rible season of rains wliich set in on the morning 
of the advance, and continued uninterruptedly foT 
the greater part of a month, Witli a week's'ear- 
lier start it would have ended the career of Br 
army in the war 

In his re 

ragg s 

port forwarded to the War Depart- 
ment, as he was setting out for this campaign, 
General Rosecrans hopes it will not be consid- 
ered invidious if he speciallv mentions "Briga- 
dier-general James A. Garfi'eld, an able soldier, 
zealous, devoted to duty, pncdent and sagacious. 


"The Rossville road — the road to Chattanooga 
— was the great prize to be won or lost at Chick- 
amauga. If the enemy filled togaiu it,theircam- 
paigu would be an unmitigated disaster; for the 
gate-way of the mountains woidd be irretrievablv 
lost. If our army failed to bold it, not only would 
our campaign be a failure, but almost inevitable 
destrnciion awaited the army itself The first 
day's battle (September 19th), which lasted far 
into the uiglit, left us in possession of the road; 
but all knew that ne.xt day would bring the 
final decision. Late at night, surrounded by his 
cinnmanders, assembled in the rude cabin known 
as the Widow Glen House, Rosecians gave his 
orders for the coming morning. The substance 
of his order to Thomas was tliis : ' Your line lies 
across the road to Chattanooga. That is the piv- 
ot of the battle. Hold it at all hazards ; and I 
will re-enforee you, if necessary, with the whc.le 

ati advance. General Garfield, at Rosecrans's re- 
quest, collated their answers — seventeen in .all — 
and then gave liis own opinion. This paper has 
been pronouiired. by competent authority, "the 
ablest military document known to have been 
submitted by a Chief of Staff to his superior dur- 
ing the war." In it, against the opinion's of sev- 
enteen general oflieers, Garfield advised an im- 
mediate forward movement. " Onr true objec- 
tive point," he said, "is the Rebel Armv. whose 
last reserves are substantially in the field, and an 
effective blow w ill crush the shell, and soon be 
followed by a collapse of the Rebel government.'' 
Rosecrans decideil to act on Garfield's advice, 
and twelve days thereafter the armv was set in 
motion. As it was about to break up camp. 
Major-general T. L. Crittenden, one of the 
three corps commanders, said to Garfield, "It 
is understood, sir, by the general otiicers of the 
amy that this niovemem is your work. I wish 


I feel," he says, "much indebted to him both for 
his counsel and assistance in the administration 
of this army. He possesses the instincts and 
energy of a great commander." 

General Gaifield's last service in the army was 
at the battle of Chitkamauga, and this was prac- 
tically the close of bis military career. The gen- 
eral position of the opposing forces in that great 
battle, and the gieat i<snes at stake on it, cannot 
be belter given tlian in his own language t 

"Rosecrans had ciossed the Teniies.see, and 
had successfully mananivred the enemy ont of 
Chattanooga. The greater work remained — 
to maich his own army into that place, in the 
face of Bragg's army, heavily re-enforced, and 
greatlv outnumbering his own. 

* Wiitelaw Reid. 

t Oration on the Life and Character of General 
George H. Thomas, by James A. Garlield. 

"During the whole night the re-enforcements 
of the enemy were coming in. Early next 
morning we were attacked along the whole 
line. 'Phomas commanded the left and centre 
of our army. From eaily morning he withstood 
the furious and repeated attacks of the enemy, 
who constantly re-enforced his assaults on our 
lelt. About noon our whole right wing w'as 
broken, and driven, in hopeless confusion, from 
the field. Rosecrans was himself swept away 
in the tide of retreat. The forces of Long- 
street, which had broken our right, desisted 
from the pursuit, and. fuming in heavy col- 
umns, assaulted the right flank of Thomas with 
unexampled fury. Seeing the npproarlnng dan- 
</u: he threw back his exposed flank toward the 
base of the mountain, and met the new peril." 

The few words I have italicised reveal the 
turning and vital point of the battle. Thomas 
saw the approaching danger, and, seeing it, was 



aWe ta ::heck the enemy and save the army ; 
tmd, in telling how he came to see it, I shall re- 
late one of tlie most brilliant exploits of the 
War of the Rebellion. 

It must be borne in mind that the Union 
army had a line of fully four miles, and was op- 
erating in a broken country, half forest and half 
cotton-field, from no one point of which was it 
possible to take in the movements of the entire 
forces. Rosecians had established his head- 
quarters for the day in the rear of his centre 
and right wing, and on one of the foot-hills of 
Missionary Ridge. He was here about noon, 
Bnrrounded by General Garfield, Major McMi- 
chael,assistant adjutant-general ; Major Bond,his 
senior aid, and Haifa dozen orderlies, when Cap- 
tain Gaw, of Thiimas's statf, rode up to his head- 
quarters. The cantain liad been sent by 'J'homas 
with a message to General Negley, and had pass- 
ad the right centre jnst as Wood opened the fa- 
tal gap into which Longstreet streamed, breaking 
McCook's corps into fragments. Reining his 
horse to the riglit, he had got out of the way of 
the fugitives. A moment liefore, Rosecrans had 
caught a distant sight of some scattering troops 
straggling over the hills, and he called out to 
Captain Gaw, as he approached, " What troops 
are those coming down the hill ?" 

' " They are a part of McCleve's reserres, Gen- 
eral — the right centre is broken I" 

In a moment more the hills were swarming 
with a disordered rabble, and turning to his Chief 
of Staff, this genuine soldier, who had never be- 
fore lost a batde, rried out, his . anxiety photo- 
graphed in his face, " Garfield, what shall be 
done ? Garfield, what shall be done ?" 

Cool, clear-headed, and intrepid, this glorious, 
man and wonderful soldier took in, on the in- 
stant, the whole extent of the disaster. It did 
not stun hitn, but instinctively he turned to 
Bome one else to show the way out of the emer- 

As quietly as if on dress-parade, Garfield an- 
swers, "Send an order to General Mitchell 
(commanding the cavalry) to fall back on Chat- 
tanooga ; send anotlier to the officer in com- 
mand at Rossville to withdraw his guards, and 
let the I'etreating troops pass ; and send Captain 
Gaw to 'General Thomas, asking him to take 
command of all the forces, fall back on Ross- 
ville, and, with McCook and' Crittenden, make a 
stand there, and hold the enemy in check until 
you can reorganize the broken divisions." 

Couriers are quickly despatched with the sev- 
eral messages, and Captain Gaw has set out, 
when Rosecrans calls him back, and directs him 
to show them the shortest route to the Chatta- 
nooga Valley Jioad. They set out, through a 
trackless forest of cedar-brake and bramble, in 
the direction of Nickajack Trace. Now and 
then the commanding general halts,_turn9 his 
head to listen, and says, "Thomas is still in- 
tact;" then moves on in monrnful silence. 
They come to the Dry Valley Road, and find it 
crowded with a tangled mass of horses, wagons, 
and soldiers moving biiskly, but without the en- 
ergy of a stampede. As they pass this disor- 
ganized mass, the general's face reflects the hu- 
miliation he feels. Then they leave the high- 
way, and go on again over a rugged, trackless 
waste. At last they reach the Chattanooga 
Road, three miles by direct route from Thomas, 
and four from Chattanooga. Here they halt; 
and now occurs one of those ludicrous incidents 
which occasionally break the monotony of the 
severest battles. The Government has sent out 
a commissioner to look into the state of the 
army — an honorable Senator, whose reputation 
fills the country. He approaches them now on 
horseback, through the oijen field at the south. 
His horse is at full speed, and he is hatless, his 
clothing torn and begrimed with dirt, his hands 
brier- scratched and bleeding, his hair literally 
on end, and his face the very image of despair. 
Rosecrans salutes him ; but passing the general 
without recognition, he rides up to one of the or- 
derlies, and says, " Sir, have you any tobacco 
about you ?" The soldier takes out a package 
wrapped in tin-foil, and the Senator says, hurried- 
ly and emphatically, "I will give you five dol- 
lars for this tobacco, sir." The orderly declines 

the money, but tells him to keep the tobacco ; 
and then he turns to the commanding general, 
and, with a wild and vacant look, says, " Your 
army has all gone to h — 1, sir ! Where is Nick- 
ajack Gap? lam bound for Bridgeport." Then, 
without waiting for an answer, he turns, puts 
spurs to his horse, and gallops down the road 
northward. The next heard of him he was seat- 
ed, canted back in his chair, and with his hoots 
on the top of his desk, in the Senate-chamber at 

Thomas is only three miles away, but the noise 
of his fire is broken by the intervening hills and 
timber. They are in doubt, from the indistinct 
sounds, whether he is holding his ground, or is 
falling back, already broken. Rosecrans and 
Garfield dismount from their horses, and, lay- 
ing their ears to the ground, listen long and in- 

Rosecrans is the first to speak. " It is a scat- 
tering fire," he says. " He is broken !" 

" No, General," says Garfield. " He is hold- 
ing his ground. They are regular discharges." 

They listen again, and in a few moments Ro- 
secrans exclaims, "Ton are mistaken, Garfield! 
He is giving way. We must hurry back, and 
hold Chattanooga." 

The Chief of StaflF knows he is right, but ar- 
gument is useless. He simply says, " Well, Gen- 
eral, if you think you must go back, let me go 
on to Thomas." 

Rosecrans hesitates, then says, ' ' As you will. 
General;" and then, reaching Garfield his hand, 
he adds, while his face shows his emotion, "We 
may not meet again ; good-bye: God bless you!" 
Though one of the bravest men and ablest sol- 
diers that ever lived, Rosecrans has a heart as 
tender and gentle as a woman's. He thhiks 
Garfield is going to well-nigh certain death, and 
he loves him as David loved Jonathan. Again 
he wrings his hand, and then they part — Rose- 
crans to the rear, to rally his broken troops, 
Garfield to a perilous ride in pursuit of Thomas. 

Captain Gaw goes with Garfield to guide the 
way, and two of the orderlies. They make a 
wide detour to avoid the Confederates, and, by 
the route they take, it is eight miles of tangled 
forest and open road before they get to Thomas, 
and at any turn they may come upon the enemy. 
They set out in a straight line for Rossville. 
Striking into a dark, pathless v^ood, a tangled 
undergrowth of intertwisted biish and brier, 
for two miles they skirt the low bottom-lands 
of the Cliattanooga Valley. 

Near the middle of the valley, on the banks 
of Chattanooga Creek, at an opening among the 
trees, they come suddenly upon a small-pox hos- 
pital — an abandoned relic of the enenrty. It con- 
tains a large number of loathsome, half-starved 
wretches, blacks and whites in about equal num- 
bers. Heedless of its noxious vapors, Garfield 
leads the way through the midst of this pesti- 
lential field, and halts a moment to express a 
painful sympathy with its wretched tenants; 
but time is precious, and on they go again, 
through the cedar-brakes, over rough and stony 
fields, and up the northerly slopes of Missionary 
Ridge, to the Dry Valley Road. 

Thence their way is clear to Rossville. At 
Rossville they take the Lafayette Road, guiding 
their way by the sound of the firing, and moving 
cautiously, for they are now nearing t\\e battle- 
field. The road here is scarcely more than a 
lane, flanked on one side by a thick wood, and 
on the other by an open cotton-field. No troops 
are in sight, and on they gallop at a rapid pace ; 
and they have left Rossville a thousand yards 
behind, when suddenly, from along the left of 
the road, a volley of a thousand Minie- balls 
falls among them, thick as hail, wounding one 
horse, killing another, and stretching the two 
orderlies on the ground lifeless. They have rid- 
den into an ambuscade of a large body of Long- 
street's skirmishers and sharp-shooters, who, 
entering the fatal gap in the right centre, have 
pressed thus far upon the flank of Thomas. 

Garfield is mounted on a magnificent horse, 
that knows his rider's bridle-hand as well as he 
knows the route to his fodder. Putting spurs to 
his side, he leaps the fence into the cotton-field. 
The opposite fence is lined with gray blouses, and 

a single glance tells him that they are loading 
lor another volley. He has been in tight places 
before, but this is the tightest. Putting his lips 
firmly together, he says to himself, "Now is 
your time ; be a man, Jim Garfield !" He speaks 
to his horse, and lays his left hand gently on the 
rein of the animal. The trained beast yields 
kindly to his touch, and, putting the rowels into 
his side, Garfield takes a zigzag course across the 
cottoti-field. It is his only cliance ; he must tack 
from side to side, for he is a dead man if they 
get a steady aim upon him. 

He is riding up an inclined plane of about four 
hundred yards, and if he can pass the crest, he 
is in safety. But the gray fellows can load and 
fire twice before he reaches the summit, and his 
,death is a thing certain, unless Providence has 
more work for him to do on this footstool. Up 
the hill he goes, tacking, when another volley 
bellows from out the timber. His horse is stinick 
— a flesh wound — but the noble animal only leaps 
forward the faster. Scatteiing bullets whiz by 
his head, but he is within a few feet of the sum- 
mit. Another volley echoes along, the hill when 
he is half over the crest, but in a moment more 
he is in safety. As he tears down the slope, a 
small body of mounted blue-coats gallop forward 
to meet him. At their head is General Dan 
McCook, his face anxious and pallid. "My 
God, Garfield!" he cries, "I thought you were 
killed, certain. How you have escaped is a mir- 
acle." It was not long before this brave man 
was himself stretched upon such another shot- 
swept field at Knoxville. Captain Gaw has had 
his horse shot under him at the first fire, and is 
considerably hurt by the fall ; but somehow he 
has managed to dodge the bullets, and crawl over 
the crest to the side qf McCook and Garfield. 
McCook gives him another horse, and they start 
again for the head-quarters of Thomas. 

Garfield's horse has been struck twice, but he 
is good yet for a score /)f miles ; and at a break- 
neck pace they go forward, through ploughed 
fields and tangled forests, and over broken and 
rocky hills, for four weary miles, till they climli 
a wooded crest, and are within sight of Thomas. 
In a slight depression of the ground, with a group 
of officers about him, he stands in the open field, 
while over him sweeps the storm of shotted fire 
that falls in thick rain on the high foot-hill which 
Garfield is crossing. Shot and shell and canis- 
ter plough up the ground all about Garfield ; 
but in the midst of it he halts, and with uplifted 
right arm, and eyes full of tears, he shouts, as 
he catches sight of Thomas, " There he is ! God 
bless the old hero! he has saved the army." 

For a moment only he halts, then he plunges 
down the hill through the fiery storm, and in 
five minutes is by the side of Thomas. He has 
come out unscathed from the hurricane of death, 
for God's good angels have warded off the bul- 
lets ; but his noble horse staggers a step or two, 
and then falls dead at the feet of Thomas.* 

The meeting of tlie two men I shall not at- 
tempt to describe, for it was too pathetic for de- 
scription. In hurried, broken sentences Garfield 
tells Thomas that he is out-flanked, and that at 
least seventy thousand men are closing down 
upon his right wing, to crush his twenty-five 
thousand into fjagments. He must withdraw 
his right wing and form line again upon the 
crested horseshoe which is before them at the 
base of the mountain. Quick the orders are 
given, and quick the movement is executed, yet 
not a moment too soon ; for yonder, from behind 
a clump of woods, emerges the head of Longstreet's 
bristling columns. But Thomas's men are few, 
and his line falls short by three hundred feet of 
the spur of the cnountain. Longstreet sees this 
gap, heads his column for it, and in a moment 
more will have struck Thomas on flank and rear 

At this critical moment a heavy column is 
seen on the hill down which Garfield has just 
ridden, and in another moment a horseman, his 
steed covered with foam, is by the side of Thom- 
as and Garfield. He is a slightly-formed man, 

* The details of this ncconnt are mostly from the 
statement pf Captain William B. Gaw, then chief-eu. 
gineer on the staff of General Thomas, who was Gar- 
field's compauion in this perilous ride. 



n little slab-sided, with- dark linii', projecting 
brows, and deep, black cavernous eyes, from 
which now a black flame is flashing. It is 
Granger. He points witli his sword to the men 
on the hill, and cries, "' Where will you place us?" 
Thomas stretches his hand toward the three-ium- 
dred-feet gap, in the direction of wliich Long- 
street is coming, and simply says, ** There!" 
Back, up the ballet-suept liill, Granger gallops, 
and in a moment liis thirty-seven hundred men, 
led on by iSteadman, are rushing down to the 
break in the lines, like a bristling avalanche. 
They are not a moment too soon, for Long- 
street's heavy column is at the breach, and — now 
comes the collision. It is like two imtnense rail- 
way trains meeting in full career — the for- 
ward columns siiiver- 
ing to atoms, and going 
down as they come to- 
gether. Steadman's 
horse is shot on the 
full gallop, and his rider 
is hurled fifteen feet for- 
ward by the momen- 
tum ; but, turning a 
complete somerset, he 
lights on his feet, and 
waves his sword for his 
men to come on as if 
nothing had happened. 
For forty minutes the 
onset lasted, and then 
a ghastly breastwork 
of three thousand min- 
gled blue -coats and 
gray fills the narroiv 
gap, but the Army 
of the Cumberland is 
saved from destruction. 
And this is the result 
' of Garfield's zigzag ride 
over that bullet-swept 
cotton -field. It gave 
Thomas the informa- 
tion which saved the 

Now, beaten and baf- 
fled, Longstreet with- 
draws his reeling col- 
umns, bnt along the 
rest of the line the con- 
flict still rages. At its 
close, bleeding and dy- 
ing and dead, twenty 
thousand men lie about 
that smoking horse- 
shoe ; but then the 
Confederates are in full 
retreat, and Garfield, 
shotting a battery of 
Napoleon guns, gives 
them a parting saluta- 

Begrimed with smoke 
and powder, Garfield 
had been everywhere 
during the battle, ani- 
mating and encourag- 
ing the men ;* but to- 
ward the close of the 
fight, sheltered by a 
dead tree, he sat down 
on the ground, and 
indited a despatch to 

Rosecrans, detailing the situation. As he sat 
there, during the heaviest of the firing, a white 


Thou who didst ride on Chickainanga's day 
All solitary down the Hary line, 
And saw the ranks of battle rnsty shine, 
Where grand old Thomas held them from dismay, 
Regret not now, while meaner factions piny 

Their brief campaigns aLjaiiist the best of men ; 
For these spent balls of slander have Iheh- way, 

And thou Shalt see the victory again ! 
Weary and ragged, though these broken lines 

Of party reel, and thine own honor bleeds, 
That mole is blind that Garfield andei-mines, 

That shot falls shcnt thai hired malice speeds. 
That man will live whose pl:ice rhe Slate assigns. 

And whose high mind a mightly nation needs! 
Geokqu: Alfkkd Towkbkmd. 

I dove, after hovering above his head for a few 
moments, settled on the topmost branch of the 
tree \v!iicli sheltered him. It i-emained there in 
all the leaden storm, nor flew away till he bad 
finished bis wiiling. '*It is an omen of peace," 
said General Wood, who stood beside him. 
Garfield said nothing, bnt went on with his de- 
spatch. Then the dove flew awa\ to the North. 
Garfield went again into the batlle, and the flash 
of bis Napoleon gnus was the last ligbt tliat 
shone upon the bloody field of Cbickamanga. I 
need not tell the rest, for it is already histin'y.''' 

In his report of the battle of Chickamauga, 
General Rosecrans says : " To Brigadier-general 
Garfield, Chief of Staff, I am especially indebted 
for the clear and ready manner in which he 


seized the point of action and movement, and 
expressed in orders the ideas of the geneial com- 
manding;" and a fortnight later the War Depart- 

• General Oreswell, of Mai-yland, in a speech recent- 
ly delivered, relaied the following incident: He said, 
"James A. Gartield has risen from the barefooted 
camil-boy to the proudest position in the coantry. I 
met him for the tirst time at the wharf in Chester- 
town, seventeen years a<;o, when,at the solicitation 
of Hem-y Winter Davis, iinmedialely afler hie glorious 
career in the field, he came to Maryland to assist the 
Republicans in the campaign for emancipation. He 
delivered a speech at the Chestertowa Conrt-honse, 
and was attacked with rotten ei^trs and apples. Rais- 
ing his head aloft, General Gailield ci-ied aload, 'I 
have jast emerged from the rain of hail at Chicka- 
mauga. I have dared to face the worst that conrn- 
geons Rebels can do, and do yon tliink I can be fright- 
ened by cowards?' The imposing beating of the 
man stilled the turbulent audience." 

1 ment commissioned bim a M.-ijor-general, "for 
gallant conduct, and important services " in that 



"Pj5aob hath her victories no less renowned 
than war;" and we are now to follow Garfield 
in the walks of peace, but through many a well- 
contested struggle, crowned by many a hard-won 
victory. He had been elected to Congress from 
the Nineteenth District of Ohio, for so many years 
represented by Joshua R. Giddings. Tliis dis- 
trict, comprising the counties of Ashtabula, 
Lake, Geauga, Portage, and Trumbull, and con- 
taining a voting population of about twenty-five 
thousand, has, perhaps, 
less illiteracy, and more 
intelligence, than any 
district of its size in the 
United States. Free 
schools are at every 
cross - road, and in 
some sections one may 
ride a whole day with- 
out coming upon a 
dram-shop. The peo- 
ple are of New England 
origin, and possess all 
the best traits of their 
Puritan ancestors. 
They are manly, ener- 
getic, freedom-loving, 
and God-fearing; but 
with these qualities, it 
may be, there exist 
among them some faint 
traces of the bigotry, 
narrowness, and cast- 
iron theology of rural 
New England as it was 
fifty years ago. Gid- 
dings had served them 
faitlifully for nearly a 
quarter of a century, 
when one day they 
learned that, in reck- 
oning his mileage, he 
went to Washington by 
the way of New York, 
while Ben Wade, who 
lived on the other side 
of the street from him, 
made the same journey 
by the shorter route via 
Harrisburgh, and thai 
saved the district two 
hundred dollars a year. 
Two hundred doUan 
divided among twenty- 
fi\e thousand tax-pay- 
ers is less than one cent 
to each ; but every one 
of these tax-payers felt 
that the whole amount 
came out of his indi- 
vidual pocket, and they 
arose in the spirit of 
Seventy- six and threw 
Mr. Giddings, as their 
fathers had thrown the 
boxes of tea, overboard. 
They elected an ambi- 
tious young lawyer in 
place of the old abolition hero, and left him, old 
and poor, to meditate upon the "gratitude of 
republics." But the country was kinder than his 
constituency ; it gave the good old man the Con- 
sulate at Montreal, and thus he was not left in 
his age altogether " naked to his enemies.'' 

In a short time the majority of the district be- 
came dissatisfied with their new representative, 
and, repenting of their unkindness, the leading 
men laid tlieir siifl'rages again at the feet of their 
old Congressman ; but, comftn'tably settled in 
his leather-bottomed arm-chair at the Consulate, 
be preferred not to trust himself again to the 
fickle Avaves of popular favor. 

In these ciicurastances they looked about for 
some one to supersede the present incumbent; 
and their eyes fell upon General Garfield. He 



had recently made' his brilliant campaign in 
Eastern Eehtiutlcy, and tliey vividly remertiber- 
ed his important services in tlie State Senate, 
so, witliout asking his leave, or even notifying 
him, they put him in nomination for Congress. 
He was elected by an overwhelming majority. 
It was then the almost Universal opinion that 
the war would Soon be over, arid that another 
year, at most, would see every rebellious State 
back in the Union. GarflSld entertained this 
opinion, and so he accepted the elfectiOn. 

Bijt the war went On, and soon it became 
apparent that it Vvas to be a long and des- 
perate sti'uggle. Garfield saw this, and qnes- 
tioried if hon(>r and duty did not requiie him 
to remain in the army. In the suftinier of 1863 
Kh ^ut this question to Bosecrans when on the 
march to Ohaitiindbga. The latter said, "The 
war is not yet over, nor will it be for some time 
to'coine. Many questions will arise in Congress 
*hich will require not only statesman-like treat- 
ment, but the advice of men having an acquaint- 
abce with liiilitary affiiirii; for that reason you 
\n&, I thirik, do as good service to the country in 
Congress as in the 'tteld. I not only think that 
you can accept the position with honor, but that 
it is jroir duty tO do it." This, for the time, 
dfecidfed Garfield, and before the interview closed 
EbSBcriins said to him, "Garfield, I want to give 
you soihe advice. When you go to Congress, be 
CaTeful what you say. Don't talk too much ; 
biit when you talk. Speak to the point. Be true 
to yiitirself, and you Will make your mark before 
the coiiritry." As we go on with his life, we shall 
i^ee howGarfield has profited by these instructions. 

Congress would ndt meet tilUDecember. So 
Geiiierai Gitrfield remained in the army, and be- 
fore iiiany months came Chickamauga. This; 
Battle, which more clearly forecasted a long and i 
desperate struggle, iinsettled his decision, and 
iiiadie him agaiii question if his duty, was not with 
the army. He Was Still undecided when Con- 
'pt'^h was 'abbnt to tneet, and, with despatches 
from Roseci'aris, he went on to Washington. On 
bis Way he stopped at his honye in Hirach, and 
there met his first real sorrow since the death 1 
of his father. The little daughter who was born ; 
tjefore he went into the war, his first child, was 
dying, and he retriairifed over to attend the ifu-i 
a'evkl. The parents hkd no picture of the child. 
io ^(vhom they were both tenderly attached, and 
an ai'tist was called iri to take its photdgraph af- 
t%t i^eath. Garfield was in his uniform, his civil- 
ian suit not being yet ready; and when he took 
t'He little creattire on his lap, and glanced dowii; 
it^on itfe pallid features, his eye fell on the but- 
tiih's of his new rank of Major-general. Sit- 
ting thus. With death in his arms, how little, he 
thdUght, thW'e is ift all the honors and gloi'^ of 
the world! With this sorrow in his heart, he 
Went on to Washington. 

Arriving at New York, he stayed overnight with 
ftfs college class-mate and bosom fiiend, Henry 
E. Knbx, of the legal firm of FuUertoii, KnOx, & 
Gi'o'sby. To him he put the same question he 
had put to Rosecrans, and received, in substance, 
the same answer; but still he was undecided. 
At last he skid to his friend, "I will state the 
case to Mr. Lincoln when I arrive at Washing- 
toh, arid leave it to his decision." 

lie did so, avid Mr. Lincoln said, " The Ke- 
publican majority in Congress is very small, and 
ills often doubtful whether we can carry the nec- 
essary war measures ; and, besides, we are great- 
ly lacking in men of military experience iri the 
House to regulate legislation abput the army. 
It is your duty, therefore, to enter Congress." 

On the itth bf December,1863,Garfield resigned 
his new rank as Major-geiiefal, and the next day 
took his seat in the House of Kepresentatives, the 
youngest meiiibei- in that body, as he had been of 
the Ohio Legislature, and the youngest Brigadier 
in the army. He was at once put upon the mili- 
tdry committee, at that time the most important 
committee of Congi-eSs. There his activity, iri- 
diistiy, military knowledge, ilnd familiarity with 
the Wants of the arthy brought hiin into imme- 
diate requisition, and, with his ability in debate, 
gave him at once a prominence in the Hoiise 
which he might not have acquired in a much' 
IbBger time in other circumstances. 

Almost immediately occuiTed the great war- 
legislation of this momentous period. Oh the 
2Uth of January, 186i, was introduced a bill for 
the confiscation of Rebel property, and Garfield 
made his first speech in Congress. Space will 
not permit me to reproduce any portion of this 
speech ; but I would like to do So, for it shows the 
swing of his mind and the character of his ora- 
toiy, as well aS his mentiil stature at this early 
date in his Cbngressional career. 

The next question of importance that came tip 
was the one in regard to bbuniies. The system had 
been tiied before, and it had gathered in a host of 
bounty-jumpers arid wretched fellows who would 
have shaiiied the raw recruits of Falstaff. The 
bill Was popular with the soldiers, for it offered 
recruits — whether they jumped the service or 
served out their time honestly — a large premium 
for enlistment. Congress was unanimously in 
favor of the measui'e, for the members wanted to 
be friendly with the soldiers who were their con- 
stituents. When the Ayes and Noes were called, 
to the amazement of every one in the House, 
Garfield voted against it, assigning as a reason 
that the policy was ruinous, would not secure 
more men, and would simply cost a vast amount 
of money. He said that in a crisis like that the 
nation was entitled to the service of every one 
of its children, and it had a right, and it Was its 
duty, by the strong arm of the law, to put just as 
many men into the field as were needed to put 
down the Rebellion. On a resolution from the 
Military Colnmjttee, embodying the principles of 
this bill, he at first voted absolutely alone in the 
negative ; but before the vote was announced Mr. 
Grinneir, of Massachusetts, arose, and changed 
his to the negative, so that the record shows. 
Yeas, 112; Nays, 2.* A day or two afterward 
Mr. Chase, tlien Secretary of the Treasury, met 
Garfield, and said to him, "1 was proud of your 
vote the other day. You were right. But you 
have just started in public life, and I want you 
to bear in mind that it is a very risky thing to 
vote against your whole party. It is a good 
thing to do Sometimes, but not Very often. Do 
it Sparingly and carefully." 

It ^aS not long before the Bounty system 
broke down, and Congress came to Garfield's 

The aririy at this time numbered about seven 
bundled and fifty thousand; but one day Mr. 
Lincoln came to the room of the Committee on 
Military Affairs, and told them — what he did not 
dare say in public, and they did not dare to 
disclose to the House— that at i, certain time not 
far ahead, say, one hundred days, the term of 
throe hundred and eighty thousand men Would 
expire, and the aimy be reduced below four 
hundred thousand. "Unless I can replace those 
three hundred and eighty thousand," he said, 
" we not only cannot push the Rebellion, but we 
cannot stand where we are. Sherman will have 
to come back from Atlanta, Grant from the 
Peninsula. I ask you to give me the power to 
draft men to fill the ranks." 

Some of his Republican friends on the Com- 
mittee remonstrated with him ; they represented 
that it was just on the eve of his re-election, and 
tljfit the country would not tolerate a draft-law ; 
that men who had already paid large sums for 
substitutes to meet the quotas would not now 
submit to be drafted, and would raise a tempest 
which would carry the country for the Democ- 

Mr. Lincolri raised his aWkWard but manly 
figure up to its full height, as he said, " Gentle- 
men, it is not necessary that I should be re- 
elected ; but it is necessary that I should put 
down this Rebellion. If you will give me this 
law, I will put it down before my successor takes 
his seat." 

Thereupon the Coirimittee drew a draft bill, 
and reported it to the House. It was voted 
dowh by a two- thirds majority. The Demo- 
crats Were not very numeroiis at that time, but 
they were joined by a large number of Republi- 
cans, who were on the eve of a re-election, and 
feared to fiice an angry constituency. 

When the voting was over, Mr. Garfield arose 

* See Congreaaional Qloie tor Janiiaiy, 1884, p. llS. 

and ihoved a reconsideration, and then m^de a 
speech full of fire, and bristling like a regiment 
of bayonets.* It carried the House by storrn; 
the bill was passed after a lengthy discussion, 
and Mr. Lincolri tnade the draft for five hundred 
thousand men. 

Garfield could not understand ho* men could 
value their political lives in such a crisis. He 
was young and impetuous, arid he did hot hesi- 
tate to uSe some very plain speech iri the course 
of this discussion. As he has grown older he 
has ^roVvn cooler, and now his words seldoih 
rinake hirii an enemy ; but then many a place- 
seeking member conceived for hirti k coolness, 
which did n'ot thaw but till wftrinM by his per- 
sonal acquaintance. 

Mr. Garfield's course on thte draft and bounty 
laws alienated from him also many of his owA 
constituents. Several of the prominent then of 
his district joined in addressihg him a letter 
withdrawing their confiilerice, and demanding 
his resignation. He wrote them in reply that 
he had acted according to his views of the needs 
of the country; that he was sorry his judgtefSrit 
did not agree with theirs ; but that, between theii- 
opinion and his own, he vvas compelled to follbw 
his own; and that he expected to live lorig 
enough to have them all confess that he was 
right and they were wrong. And he did. It 
was not long before he had letters from every 
signer of the letter, expre^sihg regrei for his cen- 
sure, and saying he noW saw their Congressman's 
course had been right. 

About this time he made a speech in aiiswel 
to Mr. Alexander Long, of Ohio, a portion o^ 
which I quote, as a fair Spedtrien of his utter- 
ances at this period. Lbrig had delivered an 
ultra-peace harangue, proposing the recogriitibri 
of the Southein Confederacy, which attracted to 
an unusual degree the attention of the HoUse. 
He sat down, and as if by coriairibn conSeht all 
eyes were turned toward the young riiember frobd 
Ohio. They expected a reply, and they were 
not disappointed. Garfield at onbe rose, and 
his first words struck on the House like the 
notes of a hugle. Members from the remtitSt 
seats crowded about him, ani in the midst of 
intense excitement, broken by frequent applause, 
he poured forth a torrerit of invective, whicli 
has been rarely surpassed for p6Wer and elo- 

" Me. Chairman," he sa^d — "I am reriiinde4 
by the occurrences of this afternoon of two chai-~ 
acters in the war of the Revolutiori, aS coihpared 
with tWo others in the wat of to-day. 

" The first was Lord Fairfax, who dWelt neiif 
the Potomac, a few miles from uS. When the 
great contest was opened between the mother 
country and the colonies, Lord Fairfax, after a 
protracted struggle with hiss own heart, decided 
he must go with the mothei' country. He gath. 
ered his mantle about him and went bVei' grand- 
ly and solemnly. 

"There was another man *ho caSt Jn his lot 
with the struggling colonists, and contiimed with 
them till the war was well-nigh ended. In an 
hour of darkness that just preceded the glory of, 
the morning, he hatched the treason tb surren- 
der forever all that had been gained to the ene- 
mies of his country. Benedict Arnold was that 

"Fairfax and Arnold find thelil' parallel oif to- 

"When this war begin, many g6od ihe.ri 
stood hesitating and doubting what they ought 
to do. Robert E. Lee sat in his house acrosi 
the river here, doubting and delaying, and going 
off at last almost tearfully to joirt thfe army of 
his State. He reminds one, in some respects, 
of Lord Fairfax— the stately Royalist of the Rev- 
olution. " 

"Bui; now, when tens of thousands of brave 
souls have gone up to God under the shadow of 
the flag; when thousands more, maimed and 
shattered in the contest, are sadly awaiting the 
deliverance of death ; now, when three years of 
terrific Warfare have raged over us ; when our 
armies have pushed the Rebellion back over 
mountains and rivers, and crowded it into narrow 

* See Congressional Olobe for July, 1881, 

limits, until a wall of fire girds it ; now, when 
the uplifted hand of a niiijestio people is about 
to harl the bolts of its conquering power upon 
the Rebellion ; now, in the quiet of this hall, 
hatched in the lowest depths of a similar dark 
treason, there rises a Benedict Arnold and pro- 
poses to surrender all up, body and spirit, the 
Kation and the Flag, its genius and its honor, 
now and forever, to the accursed traitors to our 
country! And that proposition comes — God 
forgive and pity my beloved State — it comes 
from a, citizen of the time-honorecl and loyal 
commonwealth of Oliio ! 

" I implore you, brethren in this House, to 
believe that not many births ever gave pangs to 
my mother State such as she suifered when that 
traitor was born ! I beg you not to believe that 
on the soil of that State another such a growth 
has ever deformed the face of nature, and dark- 
ened the light of God's day." 

It was during this session that a resolution 
was introduced in the House, tendering the 
thanks of Congress to General George H. Thom- 
as for his important sei-vices at the battle of 
Chicamauga, but omitting all mention of Bose- 
crans. Garfield arose and defended his former 
chief, recounting his brilliant services, but in no 
way disparaging the merits of Thomas. The 
nation now knows that Garfield was right ; that 
Hosecrans was one of the ablest soldiers and 
purest patriots that helped to crush the Bebel- 
lion ; and let as hope that the lover of his coun- 
try may not much longer have to hang his head 
with shame when he thinks of the injustice that 
this brave man has received at the hands of the 

It was about this time that General Thomas, 
having been appointed to supersede Bosecrans, 
ofiered General Garfield the command of a corps 
in his army. Thomas urged this upon him In a 
private letter, and it brought up again to Garfield 
the question whether his duty did not lie in that 
direction. Another consicleration which may 
properly have weighed with him, was the fact 
that he had a youiig and growing family, and 
that his salary as a Congressman — then only 
three thousand dollars — was barely sufficient for 
their support, and less than half, what his pay 
would be as a M|ijor-general. He was a poor 
man, and tliis last, therefore, was a weighty con- 
sideration. Again he consulted Mr. Lincoln, and 
again Mr. Lincoln told him that duty required 
him to stay in Congress ; and fearing that that 
consideration might not be strong enough, he 
put it on the ground that by remaining Garfield 
would phice him under personal obligation. 

General Garfield appeared often in debate dur- 
ing this session oif Congress: and some of his 
speeches at this time — notably that on the Con- 
stitutional Amendment to abolish slavery — are 
among the best he ever delivered. 

He had already iittained a very high rank 
among his colleagues, and men of brains in both 
houses had discovered that here was a fresh, 
strong intellectual force, wliich was destined to 
make its mark upon the politics of the country. 
Of* his power over a popular audience a single 
incident; which occurred about this time, will af- 
ford illustration. 

It was "the 14th of April, 186fl, and in the 
midst of the universal rejoicing'oyer the return 
of pteee, that Mr. Lincoln was struck down by 
the hand of the assassin. Instantly the telegraph 
flashed the news from one end of ttie land to the 
ether, and the country became excited to its ut- 
most tension. New York City, on the morning 
after the nssassinatioii, seemed rehdy tor the 
scenes of the French Beivolntion. The newspa- 
per head-lines were in the largest type. Ci-owds 
were about the bulletin boards, and the high 
crime was on every one's tongue. Fear took 
possession of men's minds as to the fate of the 
Government, for in a few hours the news came 
that Seward, too, had been murdered, and that 
attempts had been mad^upon the lives of other 
of the Government officers. Placards were put 
up everywhere, in great black letters, calling 
upon the loyal iritizens of New York, Brooklyn,' 
Jersey City, and neighboring cities to meet 
around Wa'U Stieet lixchange, and give expres- 
sion to their sentiments. It was a dark and ter- 


rible hour. What might come next no one 
could tell, and men spoke with t>»ted breath. 
The wrath of the workingmen was simply un- 
controllable, and revolvers and knives were in 
the hands of Jhousands, ready at tlie first provo- 
cation to avenge the death of the martyi'ed Pres- 
ident upon any and all who dared to utter a word 
against him. 

Bleven o'clock in the inorning was the hour 
set for the rendezvous. Fifty thousand people 
crowded around the Exchange Building, wedged 
in as tight as men could stand together. Gen- 
eral Butler, it was announced, had started froni 
Washington, and was either already in the city, 
or expected every moment ; and the crowd wait- 
ed in solemn silence for him to arrive and ad- 
dress the gathering. Not a hurrah was heard, 
but, for the most part, dead silence hung over 
all, broken only now and then by a deep, ominous 
muttering, which ran like a rising wave up the 
street toward Broadway, and again down toward 
the river on the right. In the reception-i'oora 
of the building nearly a hundred prominent men 
— generals, judges, statesmen, lawyers, editors, 
and clergymen — were gathered, waiting the ar- 
rival of Butler. 

At length the batons of the police were seen 
swinging iti the air, far up on the left, parting 
the,crowd and pressing it back, to make way for 
a carriage that moved slowly and with difiicult 
jogs through the compact multitude. Suddenly 
the sileAce was broken, and the cry of " Butler! 
Butler! Butler!" rang out with tremendous and 
thrilling effect, and was taken up by the people. 
But not a hurrah ! Not one ! It was the cry 
of a great people, asking to know how their Pres- 
ident died. The blood boiled in their vehis, 
and the tears ran in streams down tht'ir faces. 
How it was done cannot be told, but Butler was 
pulled through, and pulled up, arid into the re- 
ception-room. A broad crape, a yard long, hung 
from his left arm, in striking contrast with tlie 
countless flags that wei'e waving the nation's 
victory froni the adjoining buildings. Wlien 
Butler entered the room he shook iiands witli 
the gentlemen present. Some spoke, some could 
not speak. All were in tears. The only word 
he had for them all at the first break of the si- 
lence was, " Gentlemen, he died in the fulness 
of his fame!" As he spoke his lips quivered, 
and the tears ran fast down his cheeks. 

After a few moments, coming out upon the 
balcony of the Exchange, Butler addressed the 
assemblage. The effect, as the crape on his up- 
lifted arm fluttered in the wind, can scarcely be 
imagined. Men became frantic with excitement. 
Daniel S. Dickinson, of New York, was fairly 
wild. He leaped over the iron railing of the 
balcony, and while a by-stander held oh to his 
coat to keep him from falling, he stood there, 
on the very edge overhanging the crowd, gesticu- 
lating in the most vehement manner, and bid- 
ding the crowd " to burn up. the rebel seed, root 
and branch." By this time the wave pf popular 
indignation had swelled to its crest. In an ad- 
joining street two men lay bleedipg. the one 
dead, tlie other trying ; one on the pavement, the 
other in the gutijer. ' They had said a monient 
before that "Xiincolti ought to have been shot 
long ago." They were not allowed to say it again ! 
Sootj two long pieces of scantling were raised 
above the heads of the crovfd, crossed at the top 
like the letter X, a looped halter pendept f'roni 
the junction, and a ^ozen men followed i^s s^ow 
motion through the masses, \yhile the cry of 
"Vengeance!" surged rip ft'om ev^fy quarter. 

On the right suddenly the shout arofee, " The 
World!" " The World!" "The office of The. 
World!" "World!" "World!" and a move- 
ment of perhaps eight or ten thousand, turning 
their faces in the direction of that building, began 
to be, executed. It Was a critical moment. What 
might have come, had that crowd inoved upon 
the office of that journal, may he easily imag- 
iiied. Police and military would haye availed 
nothing. A telegram had just been' read froin 
Washihgton, " Seward is dying!" Just then, at 
that juncture, a man stepped forward with a small 
flag in his hand, and beckoned to the crowd. 
"Another telegram froin Washington!" Atid 
then, in the avrful stillness, of the crisis, taking 


advantage of the hesitation of the crowd, whose 
steps had been arrested a monient, a right arm 
was lifted skyward, and a voice, clear and steady, 
lond and distinct, spoke out: '■ Fellow-citizens! 
("blonds and darkness are roupd about Him! 
His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds of 
the skies! Justice and judgment are the es- 
tablishment of His throne! Mercy and truth 
shall go 'before His face! Fellow-citizens! God 
reigns, and the Government at Washington still 

The effect was tremendous. The crowd stood 
riveted to the ground in awe. gazing at the mo- 
tionless orator, and thinking of God and of his 
providence over the Government and the nation. 
As the boiling wave snbside.s and settles to the 
sea when some strong wind beats it down, so thp 
tninnit of the people sank and became still. A^ 
the rod draws the electricity from the air, aiid 
conducts it safely to the ground, po this man hai) 
drawn the fury from that frantic crowd, ann 
guided it to more tranquil thoughts than ven- 
geance. It was as if some divinity had spoken 
through him. It was a triumph of eloquence, a 
flash of inspiration such as seldom comes to any 
man, and to not more than one man in a cen- 
tury. Webster, nor Choate, nor Everett, nor 
Seward ever reached it. Demosthenes never 
equalled it. The man for the ciisis had come, 
and his words were more potent than Napoleon's 
guns at Paris. A murmur went through the 
crowd, " Who is he?" The answer came in low 
*hispers, "General Garfield, of Ohio." When 
asked some time ago to give the words he had 
spoken, he answered, "I cannot; I could not 
have told five minutes afterward. I only know I 
drew the lighining from that crowd, and brought 
it back to reason." 

He had arrived from Washington that morn- 
ing, and after breiikfast had strolled out upon 
the crowded streets, with no definite purpose in 
view, and in entire ignorance of the great gath- 
ering at the Exchange Building. Providence — 
wliich we misname accident — directed his steps 
down Broadway, and when he saw the great 
concourse of people he kept on to learn the oc- 
casion of the assemblage. General Butler was 
speaking when he arrived, and a friend on the 
steps of the Kxchange beikone<l to him to come 
up there, above the heads of the multitude. 
Providence thus furnished the man for the occa- 
sion, and soon it lent him the inspiration. 

About this time General Garfield won his first 
case as a lawyer, and it was in the Supreme 
Court of the United States — in other words, he 
began where most lawyere are content to end. 
It is the general impression that he is not a reg- 
ular member of the legal profession, and hence 
some people suppose that the fee of five thousand 
dollars, which was paid him in the De Golyer 
case, was more to secure his influence as a Con- 
gressman than his services as a lawyer. For 
the benefit of such persons I will say that Gen- 
eral Garfield is regarded by the members of the 
Supreme Court as one of the ablest constitutional 
lawyers in thi^ country, and th;^t some of his fees 
for arguments before the U. S. Bench have beeii 
as large as any ever paid to Daniel Webster. He 
was not ifdmitted to the Bar by (he nsu^l routine, 
but he is no less a very a,ble lawyer, '('he usual 
tread-mill route to legal preferment .is, I believe, 
to enter as a small boy a lawyer's office, swe^g 
the floor f"'' tw <"■ three year's, engross, long le^ 
gal documents fpr two or three more, pettifog 
in a Justice's Court for even a longer timp, ana 
then slowly and gradually, as the older heads die 
off, appear in the nigher courts ; and when he has 
done this fifteen or twenty years, becotne admit- 
ted to the Supreme Court, and when he is, per- 
haps, a man of .sixty, have his first case, apd glory 
over it as the Bed-letter day in his history. 

He did not reach the Bar of the' Supreme 
Court by this slow arid tedious process. He 
studied law as thoroughly, perhaps, as any man 
ever did study it; but he' studied it in his own 
room at Hiram, while he was teaching his class 
in the college, lecturing on Geology, simplying 
the pulpit for good " Father " Byder,'and dqing.n 

• This narrative is frotn the statement, and largely 
in the words, of an ejfe-witueas. 



tliuiisand otlier things, that would have broken 
down any man not of iiis iron constitution. To 
Comply with the statute, he entered his name as 
a student witli the Hon. A. G. Riddle, then prac- 
tising law in Cleveland ; and he was admitted to 
the ISar in 1860, after being examined by a 
committee of the Supreme Com t of Ohio, wlieu 
he was President of Hiram College. He was 
about to resign his Pi-esidenoy, and form a part- 
nership for tiie practice of the Law, \vhen the war 
broke out, and he went into the army. But he 
then had never had a biief, never aigued a case, 
and never had liis name emblazoned as "Attor- 
ney and Counsellor " on the door of a second- 
story rear office. 

The war over, he went into Congress; and 
when he had been tiiere a couple of years, it so 
happened that, in company with his friend Hen- 
ry Winter Dtivis, wliom lie vety much admired, 
he resisted in the House an attempt to extend 
tlie power of mihtary commissions over civil- 
ians interfering in any way with the war — such 
worthy gentlemen as Vallandigliam. He re- 
sisted this attempt as un-American, and contra- 
ry to the old English spirit of liberty. About 

and the record of the trial. Garfield read it, and 
on meeting Judge Black again, said, "I believe 
in that doctrine." The astute old lawyer then 
said to the young Congressman, " Young man, 
it is a perilous thing for a young Republican in 
Congress to endorse such doctrines, and I don't 
want you to injure yourself." "That consider- 
ation," answered Garfield, "does not weigh with 
me. I believe in English liberty and English law ; 
but, Judge Black, I am not a practitioner in the 
Supreme Court, and I never tiled a case in any 
court in my life." The Judge answered, "How 
long ago were you admitted to the Bar?" "About 
six years," said Garfield. "That will do," said 
Judge Black ; "you must now be admitted to the 
Supreme Court, and try this case with me." Gar- 
field was admitted, and at once entered upon this 
important case. 

There was a strong array of counsel on both 
sides. The prisoners were represented by Hon. 
J. S. Black, of Pennsylvania, Hon. David Dud- 
ley Field, of New York, Hon. J. E. McDonald, 
of Indiana, who had been on the bench of that 
State, and General Garfield ; the Government, 
by Hon. James Speed, Attorney- general, Hon. 

oners; Garfield followed him; Black followed 
him ; and David Dudley Field closed the argu- 
ment. And the case was decided in their favor. 

Garfield spoke for two hours ; and his argu- 
ment, which was leported in short- hand, was 
printed in pamphlet form, and given a wide cir- 
culation. By eminent legal authority it was pro- 
nounced conclusive and masterly. It gave him 
at once a high standing in the Supreme Court, 
and soon brought him many important cases. 
The men he had defended weie poor and in pris- 
on. Garfield had never seen them, never had any 
relation with them, and was never paid for his 
services in any other ^vay than by the valuable 
practice ivhich came to him in consequence of 
defending them. He has since never been with- 
out a case in the Supreme Court, and be has had 
as many as seven in the course of a twelve- 

On the 4th of March, "1865, when the Thirty- 
eighth Congress expired, the Rebellion was in 
the last throes of dissolution. GaiHeld had been 
re-elected bv a large majority ; and when he took 
his seat in the Thirty-ninth Congress, which as- 
sembled in December, 1865, Speaker Colfax in- 


two years later Judge Black of Pennsylvania 
was acting as attorney for some Indiana Demo- 
crats who were trying to save three men — Mil- 
ligan, Bowles, and Horsey — citizens of Indiana, 
that had been convicted and sentenced for con- 
spiracy against the Government, in preventing 
enlistments, and encouraging desertions from the 
army. They had been tried in 1864, while the 
war was pending, and had been sentenced to 
death by a military commission sitting in Indi- 
ana, where no war existed. Mr. Lincoln had com- 
muted their sentence to imprisonment for life, 
and they were then in the State-prison of Indi- 
ana. Their friends, to test the constitutionality 
and legality of their trial, had taken out a writ 
of habeas corpus, and brought them before the 
two judges of tiie Circuit Court of Indiana, who 
had disagreed, and certified their disagreement 
up to the Supreme Court of the United States. 
Judge Black had seen what Garfield had said 
two years before in Congress, and now came to 
him, and asked if he was n illiug to say the same 
thing in an argument before the Supreme Court. 
Garfield's answer was, "That depends alto- 
gether upon the nature of your case." Judge 
Black then gave him briefly the facts of the case, 

Henry Stanberry, and General B. F. Butler, who 
was called in because of his militaiy as well as 
legal knowledge. Garfield sat down to his work 
after his usual fashion, and soon mastered the 
subject thoroughly. With the exception of four 
or five hours given to sleep, he studied two days 
and two nights, and then had wrought out the 
points of his argument. 

On the day before the trial, the counsel for the 
prisoners met in Washington to determine upon 
the conduct of the case. As soon as they liad 
come together, Judge Black said, " We will hear 
first from our youngest member. Garfield, what 
do you intend to say?" The scene was very 
much like that which I have described when — a 
young colonel — Garfield stood before Buell at 
Louisville. These men were the foremost law- 
yers in the land, and the young lawyer, not ten 
days admitted, was to show his hand before them. 
It required more pluck than to face the fire of 
Chickamanga. But he took his points coolly, 
and stated succinctly the line of his argument. 
When he was through, they said to him with one 
accord, " J^on't change one word or one point." 

On the following day the case was tried in the 
Supreme Court. McDonald opened for the pris- 

quired of him if he had any suggestions to maka 
about the make-up of the Committee. Garfield 
surprised the Speaker by saying that he had one, 
and that was, that he might be left oft' from the 
iVIilitary Committee. The war was over ; but the 
army had to be reorganized, and the Military 
Committee was still the most important one in 
the House ; for the adjustment of many great 
questions would come before it. "That," said 
Colfax, "is the most remarkable request I ever 
heard ; but if you don't wish to serve upon the 
^Military, there are dozens here, just back from 
the army, who woidd like the opportunity. 
What do you want ?" Garfield replied, " I 
would like to serve where I can study finance. 
That is to be the great question in the future, 
in this country." 

Accordingly, he was dropped from the Mili- 
tary Committee and put upon that of Ways and 
Means, just when Congress was beginning to 
handle the great dry questions of Taiift', Taxa- 
tion, Cin-rency, and the Public Debt. He at 
once set to work to master thoroughly these 
immense subjects. He studied carefidiv the his- 
tory of English finance during the Napoleonic 
War; went over the debates and speeches in 



the English Parliament, and the writings of 
the English financiers of that time ; and then 
traced the subject down through our own Revo- 
lutionary period, and through Hamilton's and 
Jackson's time, making copious notes as he went 
along. His speech on the Public Debt and Spe- 
cie Payments,* delivered March 16tli, 1865, was 
the first in which he displayed the extensive 
knowledge he had acquired of these subjects, 
but it is also shown in muny of his speeches at 
a later period. Mr, Chase spoke of him at this 
time as one of the bflst informed men on such 
topics theit in public life. He was industrious 
in his work in che committee-room, assiduous 
in his private study of pending questions, an able 
debater on the floor of Congress, and, because 
he kept in the line of the current thought of the 
time, always prepared to speak understandingly 
and eloquently upon any subject that came up, 
however sudden or unexpected the occasion. 

An instance of this last was the readiness with 
which he responded to the call of the Speaker 
to make some remarks in the House on the morn- 
ing of the first anniversai-y of the death of Mr. 
Lincoln. Without notifying Congress, Presi- 
dent Johnson had decided to observe the day 
by closing the Departments, and had issued an 
order to that effect in the morning journals. 
Speaker Colfiix heai-d of this only fifteen minutes 
before the hour Congress was to assemble, and 
calling at once at Garfield's committee-room, 
said to him, " I desire you to move that the 
House shall adjourn as a mark of respect to our 
martyred President. I give you just fifteen min- 
utes to prepare some suitable remarks." Gar- 
field demurred for want of time, but Colfax 
cleared the room, locked the door, and left hitn 
to his reflections. In fifteen minutes Garfield 
entered the House, and as soon as the last words 
' of the previous day's proceedings had fallen from 
the lips of the reading clerk, he rose and said : 

"Mr. Speaker — I move that this House do 
now adjourn ; and upon that motion I desire to 
say a few words : 

"This day will be sadly-memorable so long as 
this nation shall endure, which God grant may 
be till the last syllable of recorded time, when 
the volume of human history shall be sealed up 
and delivered to the omnipotent Judge. In all 
future time, on the recurrence of this day, I doubt 
not that the citizens of this republic will meet in 
solemn assembly to reflect on the life and char- 
acter of Abraham Lincoln, and the awful tragic 
event of April 14th, 1865— an event unparalleled 
in the history of nations. It is eminently prop- 
er that this House should this diiy place upon its 
record a memorial of that event. Tlie last five 
years have been marked by wonderful develop- 
ments of individual character. Thousands of 
our people before unknown to fume have taken 
their places in history crowned with immortal 
honors. In thousands of liumble homes are 
dwelling heroes and patriots whose names shall 
never die. But gi'eatest among all these great 
developments were the character and fame of 
Abraham Lincoln, whose loss the nation still de- 
plores. His character is aptly described in the 
words of England's great laureate as he traces 
the step upward of some 

'"Divinely giftefl man. 

Whose life in low estate began. 
And on a simple villafie green. 

Who bieiiks his binh'x invidions bars, 
And grasps the skirts of happy chnnce, 
And breasts. the blows of circnmstauce, 

And grapples with his evil slai-s: 
Who miikes by force his merit known, 

And lives ti> clutch the jji'ISen keys 

■To mould a niiijhLy staters decrees, 
And shape the whisper of the throne ; 
And moving up from high to higher, 

Becomes on Fortune's crowning slope. 

The pillar of a people's hope, 
The centre of a world's desire.' 

" Such a life and character will be treasured 
forever as tlie sacred possession of the Ameiican 
people and of mankind. In the great drama of 
the Rebellion there were two acts. The first 
was the war, with its battles, its sieges, victories 
and defeats, its suffeiings and tears. Tliat act 


* Extracts from this speech may be found on page 

was closing one year ago to-night, and just as 
the curtain was rising upon new events, the evil 
spirit of Rebellion in the fury of despair nerved 
and directed the hand of the assassin to strike 
down the chief character in both acts. It was 
no one man who killed Abraham Lincoln. It 
was the embodied spirit of treason and slavery, 
inspired with fearful and despairing hate, that 
struck him down in the moment of the nation's 
supremest joy. Ah, sir, there are times in the 
history of men and nations when they stand so 
near the veil that separates mortals and immor- 
tals, time from eternity, and men from their God, 
that they can almost hear the breathings, and 
feel the pulsations of the heart of the Infinite. 
Through such a time has this nation passed. 
When two hundred and fifty thousand brave 
spirits passed from the field of honor through 
that thin veil to the presence of God, and when 
at last its parting folds admitted the martyred 
President to the company of the dead heroes of 
the republic, the nation stood so near the veil that 
the whispers of God were heard by the children 
of men. Awe-stricken by his voice, the Ameri- 
can people knelt in tearful reverence, and made 
a solemn covenant with God and each other that 
this nation should be saved from its enemies; 
that all its glories should be restored, and on the 
ruins of slavery and treason the temples of free- 
dom and Justice should be built and stand forev- 
er. It remains for us, consecrated by that great 
event, and under that covenant with God, to 
keep the faith, to go forward in the great work 
until it shall be completed. Following the lead 
of that great man, and obeying the high behests 
of God, let us remember 

"'He has sounded forth his trumpet that shall never 
call retreat; 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judg- 
Be swifi, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my 
Fur God is marching ou.' " 

He had not read Tennyson's lines in fifteen 
years, and yet he misquoted but one word. 

In August, 1866, th6 gentleman who had been 
set aside'by his district on the occasion of Gar- 
field's first election to Congress, made an effort 
to secure the nomination. He thoroughly can- 
vassed the district, and was aided in his opposi- 
tion by the iron-producers of the Mahoning Val- 
ley, who opposed Garfield's renominatioii on the 
ground that he did not favor so high a tariff on 
iron as they considered their interest demanded. 
He was, however, renominated by an overwhelm- 
ing vote, and elected by his usual majority. He 
afterward convinced these opponents that a mod- 
erate duty, affording a reasonable margin for pro- 
tection, was better for them than a high prohibi- 
tory tariff. 

He has thoroughly studied this subject, 
and between 1866 and 1880 has made on it 
several of the ablest speeches that were ever 
heard in Congress. In the first — that of 1866 
— he goes fully into the history of Protection ; 
states the policy of England toward the Colonies, 
which led to the Revolution, and shows how ^lie 
made of our fathers mere " hewers of wood and 
drawers of water" — simply farm-laborers to sup- 
ply the raw material for her manufactories ; and 
in subsequent ones he discusses more fully the 
philosophy of the subject. His studies have led 
him to believe that, as a mere abstract theory, 
free -trade is the true doctrine; but that in a 
country situated like ours it can be made to work 
practically only as we come up to it through a 
long series of protections, until, one by one, the 
various articles of manufacture are placed so well 
on their feet as to stand alone. He is opposed 
to prohibitory protection, but in favor of a tariff 
high enough to enable our people to compete 
fairly with foreign industries, and keep our own 
alive; yet not so high as to enable our manu- 
facturers to combine and monopolize prices, and 
altogether shut out foreign competition. He 
early took his stand on this middle doctrine. It 
was not satisfactory to the free- traders, because 
they wanted absohitely no restriction : nor was 
it to the extreme protectionists, because they 
desired the highest possible taritf, to give them 
a monopoly of their business. He was de- 

nounced by the protectionists as a free-trader, 
and by the free-traders as a protectionist. In 
fact, it is the only position where he ever stood 
in the middle between two extrenies. On every 
other question he ^as been at one pole or the 
other. Here he has stood on the equator, and in- 
sisted that the true position is the point of stable 
equilibrinm where a tariff could be held that 
would not be let down whenever the free-traders 
held sway, or forced up whenever the protection- 
ists got into power. What the country needs is 
a pei^manent and settled policy, the tendency of 
which will be constantly toward amelioration and 
lesser duties. He has held this equitable ground 
throughout his Congressional career, against the 
assaiflts of first one side and then of the other ; 
and to have held that steady equipoise is, per- 
haps, the greatest of his achievements in states- 

Early in 1867 his constant application began 
to wear upon him ; his health broke down, and 
by the advice of his physician, in the summer of 
that year, accompanied by his wife. General Gar- 
field went to Europe. He was absent from New 
York seventeen weeks, and in that time made 
the tour most familiar to travellers. He landed 
at Liverpool, and went down to London, stop- 
ping at Chester — which is near the home of his 
ancestors. He remained in London about a 
week, and while there listened to the great re- 
form debate which resulted in giving the ballot 
to seven hundred thousand Englishmen. He 
then visited Scotland, making tlie tour of the 
lakes, and then, crossing the North Sea, landed 
at Rotterdam. Thence he went to Brussels, and 
up the Rhine to Switzerland, and then across the 
Alps into Italy. At Milan and Venice he made 
short stops ; but at Rome he remained a week, 
studying its ruins and monuments, and being 
carried back to the classic times, which, since 
his college days, have been the delight of his im- 
agination. On his return, he spent another week 
in Paris, and then, after a few days in London 
and Liverpool, crossed to Kingston, and after a 
trip through Ireland, set sail for home. This 
journey widened his knowledge of men and 
things, and gave him what he sought — restored 

General Garfield has from the outset been a 
consistent advocate, both in Congress and on the 
Stump, of " Honest money." He has opposed 
every form of Inflation and Greeiibackism, and 
he had at this time succeeded in making his 
opinions on this subject the thought of the ma- 
jority of his district ; but now, when he returned 
froni Europe, he found that the Republicans of 
Ohio had adopted a wretched platform, which 
looked to the payment of the bonds of the Gov- 
ernment in greenbacks, and that they had already 
fought the Fall campaign on that issue. His friendi 
proposed to give him a public reception before 
his departure for Washington, and, knowing his 
opinions, they said to him : " The State is swept 
into the greenback current, and there is no stem- 
ming the torrent; so, say nothing on this subject, 
for the feeling is too strong to be resisted. An 
indiscreet word may cost you the uomiuation." 

He was not to be in Ohio again before the hold- 
ing of the nominating convention ; but he attend- 
ed the reception, and when called upon to address 
the assemblage, rose and made a speech in favor 
of the honest payment of the public debt, right 
in the teeth of the platform. And he said to 
them, "Much as I value your opinions, I here 
denounce this theory that has worked its way into 
this Stare, as dishonest, unwise, and unpatriotic; 
and if I were, offered a nomination and election 
for my natural life, from this district, on this plat- 
form, I should spurn it. If you should ever raise 
the question of renominating me, let it be under- 
stood you can have iny services only on the ground 
of the honest payment of this debt, and these 
bonds, in coin, according to the letter and spirit 
of the contract." 

He thus took "the bull by the horns," and 
then went to Washington. The result was that, 
when the Convention met, he was renominated 
by acchimation. He has ever since been the 
consistent and unwavering opponent of all "soft 
money" delusions, and the firm advocate of specie 
payments and the Etrict fulfilment of the national 



obligations ; and he has ever since rtceived the 
cordial support of his district on these questions, 
and been re-elected by overwhelming majorities. 

On the assembling of the next Congress' he was 
made Chiiirman of the Committee on Military Af- 
fairs, and in tlie succeeding Congress of that on 
BankingandCurrency, and while servingin that ca- 
pacity he Tiiade his celebrated report on the Causes 
of the Gold Panic. The r port was the result of 
a lengthy investigation, during which all thecliief 
actors in the drama of the Black Friday apjjeiired 
before the committee, and though it is packed 
with hard facts — and very hard ones at that — It 
reads like a chapter from one of Hugo's or Bal- 
zac's romances. The documen1;,which was wijltten 
altogether by General Uarfield himself sliows that 
a first-class historian was sacrificed when he was 
sentintopublic life. During these sessions of Con- 
gress he made several speeches on the Tariff, the 
Currency and the Banks, and Public Expenlii- 
tiires and the Civil Service, which, if he had dbne 
nothing else, would have;giv!en him high rank as 
a Statesman. Extracts frofti some bf them will 
be found at the close of this vdlulhfe. 

In 1871, GeVreral Gil field wafe ihad^ Chairftian 
Vjf the fcoiimittee on Appropriatiohs-^a commit- 
tee Which recommends iind supervises all the bx- 
penditul'es of the Gbvernhient. This important 
positioh he Occupied four years, until the Demo- 
crats carhe into power in the Hduse ih 1875 — 
and during that time he largely reduced the'tix- 
pdilses of the Government, " refovtned the Sys't'erii 
Of estinaates iirtd k{>prbpriations, providilig f&'r 
closer accoiintability on the part of those who 
spend the public money, and a clear knoWledge 
on those who Vote it of what it is uSed for." The 
importance of thik position will be apjii-etiated 
if the reader call's to mind that the annual Ex- 
penditures of the United States Governnient at 
this tiiWe were tidt far from $3t)rO,'OOO,O06. 

On the 23d of January, 1872, and while chair- 
mari of this committee, Geilei'al Garfield Irhadfe 
a' speech on Public Ex[ienditures — their increase 
aftd dlmiii'utidn, Which, in some vespSb'ts, is diie 
of the most i'6'marka;b1e that efir pi'oceed'ed from 
a legisliitbr. In it he drew a hbrosbope of our 
national future^foi'ecasted the fffiahcial histoi'y 
of the country for many years to come ; aud the 
vi'onderful feature abdnt it is, th'at time has thiis 
far almost literWly veriBed his pi'edictions. The 
spSech is what is Called in the English Parliatrietlt 
a " budget Speech," and is the insult of aVi im-' 
iMetase ind'itdtio'n, by Which he arrivbs at the'cbn- 
claSibn that the expenditures of a war cannot be 
bl'bught down to a peace Ifevel until a Subsequent 
piriod' twice as lofij as the War itself. He .sho'Ws 
titfalt it had been so in the v/krs of England, and 
in our oWn Wai's ever sirtce the formation of tlie 
GoVgrnmeht; tliat expenditures rise to their, 
height at the clOSe of a war ; that thert they be- 
gtn to fall — to gradWally and uniformly decline 
until they strike the nevy level of pea'Ce; when 
tfiey again Began to rise gradually, keeping pace 
with the growth and prosperity of the coun- 
try. The late war; he said, was substantially 
fiVe-yearS long, ending, finsincially, in l'gp66. Ap- 
ply hts rule to this, and the peace level will 
hS^e been reached in 1876. He analyzed the 
table's 6f expenditures attending and resulting 
from the war, and the expenses of peace, and 
demortstrated that there had been a constant in- 
crease 6f the peace expenditures, and a constant 
decrease Of those of the war. There were two — one of increase and otie of diminution ; 
but the magnitude of the war had been so great 
that the decrease would be faster than the in- 
crease resulting fi-om peace. The problerti was, 
when will these two lines 'meet, and the upward 
incline of peace begin ? It required gre&t breadth 
of generalization, and rninute attentibn to details, 
to reach the result; and that he did it, and came 
to so correct a conclusion, is evidence of the re- 
markable power and grasp of his mind. But a 
few extracts from the speech itself will more 
cleaily exhibit the striking analysis he performed. 

" The history of the expenditures of the United 
States is worthy of special study. Omitting pay- 
ments of the principal and interes't of the pub- 
lic debt, the annual average may be thus sum- 
marized : 

" Beginniiig with 1791, the last decade of the 

eighteenth century showed an annual average of 
13, 750,000. During the first decade of thepres- 
ent century, the avenige was nearly $5,500,000. 
Or, commencing with 1791,there followed twen- 
ty years of peace, d tiring, which the annual aver- 
age of ordinary expenditures was more than 
doubled. Then followed four years, from 1812 
to 1815, inclusive, in which the" war with Eftg- 
land swelled the average to $25,500,000. Dur- 
ing the five years succeeding that War, the aver- 
age was $16,500,000; and it was not until 1821 
that the tiew level of peace Was reached. Dur- 
ing the five years, fi-om 1820 to 1825, inclusive, 
the annual average was $ll,i560,000. From 
1825 to 1830 it was 113,000,006. From 1830 
to 1835 it was $17,06'0,000. Fro'm 1835 to 
1840, in which period occurred the Seminole 
War, it was $30,500,000. From 1840 to 1845 
it was $27,000,000. Frtjm 1845 to 18^0, dur- 
itig Wliich peiiod bdcurred the Mexican war, it 
was $40,500,000. From 1850 to 1855 it was 
i47,.'500,600. From 1855 to June 30, 1861, it 
was $67,000,000. From June 30, 1861, to Jun'e 
30, 1866, $713,750,000; and from Jurte SiO, 
I8G6, to June 30, 1871, the annual average Wks 

" It is 'interesting to inquire hoW far we may 
reasonably expect to go iri the descending scale 
b'efbre we reach the nBW level of peace. It took 
England twenty yeAvs afte'r Waterloo before she 
reached such a level. Our own experience has 
been peculiiir in this, that Our p'ebpl'e have been 
impatient of debt, ar/d have always determinedly 
set about the work 'of reducing it. '_ 

"Tliroughottt alii' history thei'e miy be seen 
a curious uniformity in the inoVe'nnent of the an- 
nual expenditures for the years, immediately fol-! 
lowing a war. We have not the data to deter- 
mine hoW long it was, stMr the war of Inde- 
pendence, before the expenditures ceased to de- 
crease, that is, before they reached the point 
where their natural growth more than ballinced 
the tendency to reduction of war expenditure; 
blit in the years i'mrnediately following all our 
subsequent Wars, the decrease has continued for 
a pei-idd fetttiiost exactly twice the 'length of 'the 
War itself. 

"A'ftbr the W!ar of 1812-'1'5, the expenditures 
eorttinued to decliiie for eight years, reacliing 
the lowest poitit in 1823. ' 

"After the Serninole war, which rah through 
three years— 18SB, 1837, and 1838— the new lev- 
el was not reached utitil 1 844, six years after its 

"After 'the Mexican War, Which lasted two 
yefti's, it to6k four yeiirs, until 1852, to reach the 
new level of penCe. 

"It is, perhaps, uiisafe to base our caltiulaiidiis 
for the f\ittii'e on these analogies ; but the wars 
already referred to have been of such varied 
character, itnd their finaneial effects have been 
so uniftjrni, as t6 make it hot unresisori'abl'e to 
expect tha't a Similar result will follow our late 
war. If s'b, the decrease Of our ordinary expen- 
ditures, exclusive of the principal and interest of 
the, pu'blic debt, will continue until 1875 or 1876. 

">We caiinAt expect So rapid a reduction of 
the public debt and its burden ofiinterest as we 
have witnessed for the last three years; but the 
reduction will doubtless continue, aiid the bur- 
den of interest will constantly decrease. I know 
it is not safe to attempt to forecast the future; 
but I venture to express the belief that, if peace 
continues, the year 1876 will withess our ordi- 
nary expenditures reduced to $125,000,000, and 
the'interest oh our public debt to $d'5,06b,000 ; 
making our total expehditures, exclusive of pay- 
ment onithe principal of the public debt, $230,- 
000,000. Judging from our own experience and 
from that of otiier nations, we may not hope 
thereafter to reach a lower figure. Ih ma!king 
this estimate, I have assuthed that there Will be 
a considerable reduction of the burdens of taxa- 
tion, and a revenue not nearly in so great excess 
of the expenditures as we now collect." 

In viewof the foregoing predicticm, it will be 
interesthig to notice the actual expenditures of 
the Government since the war, and since the year 
1872, when the prediction was rhade. Including 
interest on the public debt, as shown by the ofii- 
cial recol'd these expenditures have been as fol- 

lows: In 1865, $1,297,5S5,2S!4 41; in 1866, 
$520,809,416 99; in 1867, $357,542,675 16; 
ih 1868, $377,340,284 86; In 1869, $322,865,- 
277 80; in 1870, $309,653,560 In; in 1871, 
$292,177,188 25; in 1872, $277,517,962 67 ; 
in 1873, $290,345,245 33; in 1874, $287, 133,- 
873 17; in 1875, $274,623,392 84 ; in 1876, 
$258,459,797 33; in 1877, $238,660,008 93; 
ill 1878, $236,964,826 80. 

Oiiiitting the first of these years, in which the 
enormous payments to the army swelled the ag- 
gregate of exp'enses to $1,297,000,000, aridbe- 
ginning Wiih the first full year after the termina- 
tion of the war, it will be seen that the expendi- 
tures have been reduced, at first, very rapidly, and 
ttien mbi'e .slowly, from $:')20,0'OO,OO0 ih 1866 to 
about $237,000,000 in 1878. 

Tlie estimate q'uoted i«i,bove was that in 1876 
expenditures vvould lie reduced to $^i50, 000,000, 
including $95,000,0100 for interest on the public 
debt. In 1877, onfe year later than the esti- 
mated date, the actual reduction had reached 
$238,000,000, including $97,000,000 for interest 
on the public debt ; and that this was the idwest 
le^fcl is shown by the fact that the yearly eXpendi- 
ttire for 18'7'9 did not tall below $,24'0,o60,()00. 

In the aiitumri and winter of this year (1872) 
occurred' the Credit JAobilier investigatiiin, with 
which General Garfield's name lias been so wide- 
ly cbnriected. No account of his career can do 
hi'ni justice that does not exhibit the full' histoiy 
of that transaction, and that cannot be ddne iu 
a paragraph. Heiice, to avoid breaking the con- 
tinuity of this narrative, the relation of it is re- 
served to the Appendix, at the close 6f this vol- 
ume. Btit this would seerii to be tlie proper place 
to speak of Garfield's cdniiectibn with wfiat is 
known as the t'Salary Grab," and of the effect 
which cthis and the Credit Mobilier scandal had 
upon his immediate constituency. The reader 
will I'etiieiTib'er that, by tlieSalary Bill, niembersof 
Coiigi'ess voted into their own pockets bac*k pay 
to the ainbunt Of abotit $4500. General Gar- 
field was one of those who voted for this meas- 
uie ; but fie diil s6 only to seciire the passage of 
the General Ajppropriatioft Bill to Which it was ap- 
pended, ahd he Was the first member to "cover" 
his pay back, into the Treasury. Haid the appro- 
priation bill filled, an extra session of Congress 
W6ul'd have been made necessary, iiid that Would 
have irivolved an expense to the country vastly 
gi-eit^r than was demanded by the extra salaries. 
Blit nothing that I can say will so well, describe 
this' time is the following remarks of President 
Hinsdale 6f Hiram College, who has known Gen- 
aral GiVrfield intimately for twenty- five years, 
and during ill Of that period has been a resi- 
dent of his distriet. In a rec'eiit address he used 
the fbllowihg language : 

"It Was in the winter of l872-'7S that the 
Credit MoliiliMr developments aroused and alarm- 
ed the country. They seemed to point to a cor- 
ruption in public life that had not been gefterially 
suspected. Mr. Garfield's name, from no real 
fault of his divn, appeared in the history. No 
sooner had the House of Representatives disposed 
of the Mobilier than the salary legislation Was 
enacted. The Forty-second Congress had been 
unpopular; the Mobilier transactions had scan- 
dalized tlie country ; the public had always beett 
jealous of Congressmen voting up their own pay; 
so that everything conspired to stir the public 
indignation to its depths. A wave of objurga- 
tion, bearing upon its breast 'steal,' 'robber,' 
'grab,' starting on the Atlantic shore, rolled to 
the Pacific arid back again. Mr. Garfield had 
vigorously opposed the increase of salaries. But 
When it was forced upon one of the great appro- 
priation bills by a decided vote, when the Confer- 
ence Cornmittee insisted that it should remain, 
when further resistance was either nugatory or 
would involve an extra session of Congress, he 
concluded that it was his duty to acquiesce and 
vote for the bill with the obnoxious mea.sure. In 
so doing, he may have been wrong ; that ques- 
tion I do not argue; my proposition is that he 
was honest and patriotic. Perhaps I ihay be in. 
dulged in saying that I wis in 'Wa'shingtbn at 
the time, that I was thoroughly familiar with all 
the history, and then, as now, I was as confi- 
dent of his uprightness as I can be of an^ man's 

inpnghtness. But my great point is yet before 

" Tlie Westeiii Reserve is North-east Ohio. It 
was originally settled , by New Englanders, and 
its population has the tlirift, the keen intelli({eiice, 
the habits of local self-government, tl'je political 
instincts, and the morals of !New England. The 
mail clerks on Mr.Vanderbilt'e railroad will tell 
you that there is no population of equal numbers 
on the long line reaching from New York to Chi- 
cago that writes and reads so many letters, and 
that receives through the mails so much reading 

" The Nineteenth Ohio Congressional District 
is tlie eastern part of the Reserve. Proljably it 
has retained the New England blood and tradi- 
tions in a higher degree (if purity than any other 
part. It early became deeply interested in the 
antislavery rhovement, and this greatly quick- 
ened the interest"of the people in public affairs. 

"Nowhere did the Mobilie'r and salary mat- 
t!ers make a deeper impression than on this most 
sensitive and jealous constituency. General Gar- 
field had now represented it in five successive 
Congresses ; and, although not then so well 
known as he is to-day, his name has crossed the 
continent to the West and the ocean to the East. 
-The district felt very proud of him. He was 
nominated the first time by a small majority. 
The second time without opposition. Sis third 
and fdurth nominations were vigorously contest- 
ed, but he triumphed so easily and so decisively 
that opposition fled the field and left him in 
secure possession. No iepresentative held liis 
constituency with a firmer hand. His tenure 
proAiised to be as long as that of Whittlesey, or 
even Giddings. But now atl was changed. A 
Republican convention thai, met in Warren for 
some local purpose deinahded his resignation. 
Most men denounced, all regretted, none de- 
fended, what had been done. All that the 
staunchest friends of General Garfield piesiiined 
to do was to say, ' Wait uiitil you hear the 
case ; heair what Garfiel'd has to say before you 
' determine that h^ is a dishonest man.' Indulge 
me again in a personal word, fetur'niiig home 
from Washington after the iidjournment, I found 
myself in the midst of the tempest. Cleveland 
editors heisitated to publish any statement of the 
salary matter that varied from the current version. 
One of them said to me, ' This vote has taken us 
in the pit of the Stomach.' Perhaps the best 
illiistiation that I can give of the intensity of 
feeling is this : Knowing as I did the grounds 
of Geiieral Garfield's action, and the spirit in 
which he had' acted, I felt it my duty to say in 
piivatfe conversation, in the newspapers, and even 
in the Hiram pulpit : ' General Garfield is not 
a thief. He has not robbed the Treasuiy. 
Whether he is right or wrong, I do not argue ; 
but whether right or wrong, he has acted honestly 
and with an eye single to the public good.' And 
some of my neighbors said: 'Mr. Hinsdale has 
a private right to think General Garfield honest 
if h4 can ; but let hiiii keep his opinion to hiin- 
self; he has no right to injure the college of 
which he is president, as he will do by bearing 
public testirnony.' Garfield wrote me from 
Washington, sadly but resolutely : ' The district 
is lost, and as soon as I can close up my affairs 
here I am coming hoiiie to capture it.' 

"And he did capture it. He issued his paiii- 
pTilets, ' Review of the Transactions of the Credit 
Mobilier Conipany ' and 'Increase of Salaries,' 
from Washington, and then came on to Hiram. 
These pamphlets, with a personal speech in 
Warren soiiiewhat later, constituted his direct 
defence. When the next campaign opened he 
went as usual upon the stump. He rarely re- 
ferred to the charges against him, and never did 
unless compelled to do so. He grappled with 
the questions of the day. He went frotn county 
to 'county, and altflost from village to village. 
His knowledge was so great, his argnmentation 
so logical, his spirit so earnest, and his bearing, 
both public and private, so manlyj that men be- 
gan to ask, ' Can it be trde that Mr. Garfield is 
soeh a man as they tell us?' Prejudice yielded 
slowly though surely. The tiext campiiign it 
was the same thing ovef. Garfield had now to 
be returned himself or leave public life. After 


a straggle that shook the district, he was re- 
nominated by a three-fourths vote of the con- 
vention. Two years later the resistance was 
less. By this time he had won back the masses. 
They had become convinced almost universally 
of his integrity. Hardly a man can be found in 
the district who questions it. Only those who 
had been very violent in opposition now stood 
out. These had to be won back one by one. 
Two years later there was ho opposition what- 
ever ; the district had been recaptured. In IST'S 
he was re-elected by his old-time majority. Op- 
position was now no more. Men who had been 
most denunciatory now were warmest in his 
praise; and it was actually left to the friends 
who had stood by him through all the storm to 
supply such criticism as every public man needs 
to keep him in proper tone. When the Sena- 
torsliip question came up last fall, the Repub- 
licans of,the Nineteenth District had but one 
objection to his election — unwillingness to lose 
him as their Representative. And now that he 
is oh the way to the chair at VVashington, I will 
say that ho equal population between the two 
oceans will give him a greater majority than this 
old constituency. 

"Nor should I fail to mark how the victory 
was won, how the district was recaptured. It 
was not accomplished by management; James 
A.Garfield is no 'inanager.' It was not by 
fiattering the people and appealing to popular 
passions. General Garfield is no demagogue. 
It was by the earnest, straightforward ej^position 
of soiid political doctrine ; it was by the high 
beariiig of the man ; in a word, it was by the 
impact of his mental and moral power upon in-, 
telligent and honest minds." 

The fpur years during which he was Chaiir- 
man of the Comiiiittee oh Appropriations wei'e 
occiipi'ed with hard work in committee, and wise 
discussion oii the floor of Congress. He has. 
himself said that, "The mail who wants to serve 
his country must put himself in the line of its 
leading thought, and that is the restoration of 
business, trade, commerce, industry, sound polit- 
ical economy, hard money aind honest payment 
of all obligations ; and the man who caii add any- 
thing, in the direction of the accomplishment of 
any of these purposes is a public benefactor. " 

This he did, grappling with these politico-biisi- 
ness questions "with the powei' of a giailt and 
the zeal of a missionary," and tlie speeches he 
delivered during this period are a monument ito 
his great ability and industry. 

When the Democrats came into power in the 
House of Representatives in 1875 he was dis- 
placed from the Committee on Appropriations, 
and assigned to that of Ways and Means ; and 
almost immediately occurred the debate on am- 
nesty, and the question arose whether Jeff. Da-, 
vis should be restored to the rights of citizenship. 

Mr. Blaine made a speech against it; Hill of 
Geoi'gia followed in a terrific onslaught upon 
Mr. Blaine ; and then General Garfield got the 
floor and replied to Hill. He had in a speech 
on the currency, delivered in 1868, said : "I 
am aware that financial subjects are dull and iih- 
iiiviting in comparison with those heroic themes 
which have absorbed the attention of Congress 
ifor the last five years. To turn from the con- 
sideration of armies and navies, victories and 
defeats, to the array of figures which exhibits 
the debt, expenditure, taxation, and industry of 
the nation, requires no little courage and self- 
denial ; but to those questions we must come, 
and to their solution Congress, political parties, 
and all thoughtful citizens must give their best 
efforts for many years to come. " 

And in accordance with this he had avoided 
all discussion of past issues, and confined him- 
self to living questions ; but now, when the North 
was wantotily assailed, he put on his armor and 
went forth again to do battle for the Union. He 
went over the history of Southern pri.?ons, and 
opened those charnel-houses till the effluvia fill- 
ed the country, for the speech was circulated by 
millions; but he closed with these words of con- 
ciliation : 

" Mr. Speaker, I close as I began. Toward 
those men who gallantly fought us on the field 
I cherish the kindest feeling. I feel a siiidere 


reverence for the soldierly qualities they dis- 
played on many a well- fought battle-field. I 
hope the day will come when their swords and 
ours will be crossed over many a door-way of 
our children, who will remember the glory of 
their ancestors with pride. The high qualities 
displayed in that ooiifliet now belong to the 
whole nation. Let them be consecrated to the 
Union, and its future peace and glory. I shall 
bail that consecration as a pledge and symbol of 
our perpetuity. 

" But to those most noble men, Democrats and 
Republicans, who together fought for the Union, 
I commend all the lessons of charity that the 
wisest and most beneficent men have taught. 

"I join you all in every aspiration that you 
may express to stay in this Union, to heal its 
wounds, to increase its glory, and to forget the 
evils and bitternesses of the past; but do not, 
for the sake of the three hundred thoSsand he- 
roic men who, maimed and bruised, drag out 
their weary lives, many of'them carrying in their 
hearts horrible memories of what they suffered 
in the prison-pen — do not. ask us to vote to put 
back into power that man who was the cause 
of their suffering — that man still unaneled, un- 
shrived, unforgiven, undefended." 

I think this was the last occasion that South- 
ern gentlemen in Congress have ventured to call 
up the memories of Saulsbury and Andersonville. 

Toward the close of this Congress, as it was 
about to adjourn on the eve of the last Presiden- 
tial election, Mr. Lamar, of Mississippi — a very 
brilliant man — made a carefully prepared speech 
arraigning the Republican party, and stating rea- 
sons why the Democratic party should be put 
into power at the next election. The speec^i 
Nvas delayed, until within two or three days of 
the close of the session ; but it came to be whis- 
pered about that it would be a strong campaign 
document, and be delivered so late that no reply 
could be made to it by the Republicans. The mo- 
ment Mr. Lamar sat down General Garfield rose, 
and got the floor. It was late in the afternoon, 
and the! Ilouse at once iidjourned ; but he had 
secured the right to reply on the following morn- 
ing. Lamar's speech was withheld from publi- 
cation in the Congressional Record, and Garfield 
was forced to rely upon the brief notes of it 
which he had takeri, and the short summary that 
had appeared in the morning journals. , He had 
but little time for prepairation, and had to work 
nearly all night in preparing bis "pioints," but 
the speech is one of the best be ever made, and 
should be read by millions. It is as applicable 
to to-day as to the time when it was delivered; 
and the most of it is, therefore, included among 
the extracts which are given at the close of this 

Now caVhe the Presidential election of 1876, 
and that over. Congress again assembled, and at 
bnce weiit into the discussion of the electoral 
count. Tne Southern elections were investi- 
gated, and General Garfield was invited to be- 
come one of the " visiting statesmen." He went 
to Louisiana, and examined carefully the testi- 
mony in relation to the election in one parish — 
West Feliciana. He wrote out a brief and ju- 
dicial statement of the official testimony as to 
the conduct of the election in that district, ana- 
lyzing the movements of the Ku-klnx Rifle Club 
which broke up the election, and adding his own 
conclusions. When the Potter Committee came 
to make its investigations afterward, " it found 
no fault in him " whatever. 

When General Garfield returned to Congress 
'the question of the electoral count came up, and 
an effort was made to pass a bill establishing the 
Electoral Commission. Who originated this plan 
of settlement is uncertain. It is attributed to 
Mr. McCreary (Republican), of Iowa, but the 
Democrats heartily adopted it, pronouncing it 
a highly patriotic measure. General Garfield 
opposed it in a speech in which he took the 
ground that, under the Constitution, it was the 
duty of the Vice-president to count the vote, and 
that in attempting to do it, Congtess was usurp- 
ing a powei- it did not legally possess. The two 
Houses could be present only as witnesses, but 
nbl; as actors in the^reat, solemn ceremoiiy. 

Mr. Garfield voted against the bill, but it was 



caiTied by a large majority, the Democrats join- 
ing heartily in its support. It subsequently 
transpired that they had fully arranged that 
Jndge Diivis, of Illinois (a Democrat), should hold 
the Ciisting vote ; and Henry B. Payne, of Ohio, 
afterward admitted, in a speech in Cleveland, 
that they would not have passed the bill had they 
not supposed he would be on the Commission. 
But this little arrangement did not go into opera- 
tion. Providence at the right moment stepped in 
and saved the country from four years of Gram- 
ercy Park and Cipher Despatches. Before the 
members of the Electoral Commission were se- 
lected by Congress the State of Illinois elected 
Judge Davis to the United States Senate ; he re- 
signed his position on the United States Bench, 
and Judge Bradley, a Republican, was put in his 
place on the Commission. This elected Mr. 
Hayes President of the United States. 

Although General Garfield had voted and 
spoken against the electoral bill, yet when it was 
decided that the Repnblicans in the House should 
appoint upon the Commission two members, he 
and Mr.Hoar, of Massachusetts, were unanimous- 
ly chosen. "Since you have appointed me," he 
said, " I will sei-ve ; I can act on a committee when 
I do not believe in its validity." He according- 
ly acted on the Commission, and two opinions 
which he delivered while serving in that capacity 
are well worthy of perusal. 

Mr. James G. Blaine had been elected to the 
Senate, and General Garfield now, by common 
consent, became the Republican leader in the 
House— a position which he has filled with dis- 
tinguished ability ever since. Says one who has 
been for many years familiar with his Congres- 
sional career, "As a. leader in the House he is 
more cautious and less dashing than Blaine, and 
his judicial turn of mind makes him too prone 
to look for two sides of a question for him to 
be an efficient partisan. When the issue fairly 
touches his convictions, however, he becomes 
thoroughly aroused,and strikes tremendous blows. 
Bliiiue's tactics were to continually harass the 
enemy by sharp-shooting surprises and picket- 
firing. Garfield waits for an opportunity to de- 
liver a pitched battle, and his generalship is 
shown to best advantage when the fight is a fair 
one, and waged on grounds where each party 
thinks itself strongest. Then his solid shot of 
argument are exceedingly effective." 

When Mr.Hayes's policy of conciliation became 
fully developed, it met,as is well known, with very 
strenuous opposition from a large wing of the 
Republican party. It was deemed by many ill- 
considered, ill-advised, and dangerous. The day 
had not yet come for the lion and the lamb to lie 
down together — though a little child was ready 
to lead them. Mr. Hayes was bitterly assailed, 
denounced as a traitor and a renegade, and one 
who was going to Johnsonize his party. His 
defenders were comparatively few, and it required 
a good deal of courage for any Republican in or 
out of Congress to attempt to stem the torrent 
against him. But knowing his intentions to be 
good, if his course was premature and injudicious. 
General Garfield stood by him, and did all he 
could to prevent a rupture in the party. He 
knew that if a caucus were held there would 
inevitably be a, rupture, so he united with other 
gentlemen of similar views in agreeing that no 
caucus whatever should be called. And no 
caucus was called until Mr. Potter made his 
motion for an investigation into the title by 
which Mr. Hayes held the Presidency. This 
notice of an outside attack united the two wings 
of the party almost immediately. A caucus was 
then called, and they worked together harmoni- 
ously, uniting to denounce the Potter investiga- 
tion a^ revolutionary. A few remarks in Mr. 
Garfield's speech on the Policy of I'acification 
will throw light upon his action in this emer- 
gency : 

" Sir, if there ever was a people on this earth 
who had reason to be tired and weary, to the 
bone and heart, of political contention, the bit- 
terness of party malice, and all the evils that 
can be suffered from partisanship, it is this af- 
flicted American people. 

" All admit that there are three stages that 
must be passed through between war and peace. 

There was, first, the military stage — the period 
of force, of open and bloody war — in which gen- 
tlemen of high character and honor met on the 
field, and decided by the power of the strongest 
the questions involved in the high court of war. 
That period passed, but did not leave us on the 
calm level of peace. It brought us to the period 
of transition, in which the elements of war and 
peace were mingled together iii strange and anar- 
chic confusion. It was a period of civil and 
military elements combined. All through that 
semi- military period the administration of Gen- 
eral Grant had, of necessity, to conduct the coun- 
try. His administration was not all civil, it was 
not all military ; it was necessarily a combination 
of both ; and out of that combination came many 
of the strange and anomalous situations which 
always follow such a war. 

"Men who looked upon the duties of the ad- 
ministration as only civil, criticised it savagely 
because the military element entered into it so 
largely. Men who looked at the administration 
from the strong ground of military government, 
criticised it as too feeble — lacking the force and 
vigor of military command. But out of these 
mingled elements, step by step, and year by 
year, the administration emerged from the en- 
tanglements of the situation, working its way up 
to the level of peace. 

" Our great military chieftain, who brought the 
war to a successful conclusion, had command as 
chief executive during eight years of turbulent, 
difiScult, and eventful administration. He saw 
his administration drawing to a close, and his 
successor elected — who, studying the question, 
came to the conclusion that the epoch had ar- 
rived, the hour had struck, when it was possible 
to declare that the serai-military period was end- 
ed, and the era of peace methods, of civil pro- 
cesses, should be fully inaugurated. With that 
spirit, and at the beginning of this third era, 
Rutherford B. Hayes came into the Presidency. 
I ought to say that, in my judgment, more than 
any other public man we have known, the pres- 
ent head of the administration is an optimist. He 
looks on the best side of things. He is hopeful 
for the future, and prefers to look upon the bright 
side rather than upon the dark and sinister side 
of human nature. His faith is larger than the 
faith of most of us ; and with his faith and hope 
he has gone to the very verge of the Constitution 
in offering both hands of fellowship and all the 
olive-branches of peace to bring back good feel- 
ing, and achieve the real pacification to this coun- 

" No man has shared more earnestly these as- 
pirations of the President than I have. I have 
sought, in every way in my power, to help, wher- 
ever there was a place to help, to bring about, in 
the largest spirit of fellowship and restored Union, 
a day of honorable reconciliation and peace. To 
do that, there was a world of things to be forgot- 
ten and forgiven on both sides." 

About the last thing which the Republicans 
did before they went out of power in Congress, 
in 1875, was to pass a law providing for a re- 
sumption of specie payments on the 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1879. The Democrats said that it could 
not be done. Speeches were delivered, essays 
were written, and reports were made to show 
that it could not be done. The Democrats de- 
nounced the Government for holding gold, and 
thereby crippling the business of the country. 
When any unfortimate trader failed in business, 
he was the victim of "Sherman's policy" — the 
victim of the Republican party. The Demo- 
cratic journals were full of ridicule and denun- 
ciation of the policy of Resumption. The times 
were indeed terrible — they tried the souls of the 
commercial community; but, during the whole, 
Garfield stood by the policy of honest money, 
and made no concessions whatever ; and he knew 
that the "sober second thought" of the people 
would sustain his position. In the course of 
the debate on this subject, he said : 

" That man makes a vital mistake who judges 
of truth in relation to financial affairs from the 
changing phiises of public opinion. He might 
as well stand on the shore of the Bay of Fundy 
and, from the ebb and flow of a single tide, at- 
tempt to determine the general level of the sea. 

as to stand on this floor and, from the current 
of public opinion in any one debate, judge of the 
general level of the public mind. It is only 
when long spaces along the shore of the sea are 
taken into the account that the grand level is 
found from which all heights and depths are 
measured. And it is only when long spaces of 
time are considered that we find, at last, that 
level of public opinion which we call the general 
judgment of mankind. From the turbulent ebb 
and flow of the public opinion of to-day I appeal 
to that settled judgment of mankind on the sub- 
ject-matter of this debate." 

The struggle was a long one, but the friends 
of " money" were at length triumphant, 
Resum^jtion came at last, and on the day follow- 
ing the one when the Government, for the first 
time in seventeen years, made its payments in 
coin. General Garfield thus catalogued the bless- 
ings it was to biing upon the country. 

"Successful Resumption will greatly aid in 
bringing into the murky sky of our politics what 
the signal-service people call 'clearing weather.' 
It puts an end to a score of controversies which 
hiive long vexed the public mind, and wrought 
mischief to business. It ends the angry conten- 
tion over the difference between the money of 
the bond-holder and the money of the plough- 
holder. It relieves enterprising Congressmen of 
the necessity of introducing twenty-five or thirty 
bills a session to furnish the people with cheap 
money, to prevent gold-gambling, and to make 
custom duties payable in greenbacks. It will 
dismiss to the limbo of things forgotten such 
Utopian schemes as a currency based upon the 
magic circle of interconvertibility of two differ- 
ent forms of irredeemable paper, and the schemes 
of a currency 'based on the public faith,' and 
secured by ' all the resources of the nation ' in 
general, but' upon no particular part of them. 
We shall still hear echoes of the old conflict,snch 
as ' the barbarism and cowardice of gold and sil- 
ver,' and the virtues of 'fiat money;' but the 
theories which gave them birth will linger among 
us like belated ghosts, and soon find rest in the 
political grave of dead issues. 

" When we have fully awakened from these 
vague dreams, public opinion will resume its old 
channels, and the wisdom and experience of the 
fathers of our coiistitutioii will again be acknowl- 
edged and followed. 

"We shall agree, as our fathers did, that the 
yai-d-stick must have length, the pound must 
have weight, and the dollar must have value in 
itself, and that neither length, nor weight, nor 
value can be crented by the fiat of law. Con- 
gress, relieved of the arduous task of regulating 
and managing all the business of our people, will 
address itself to the humbler hut more important 
work of preserving the public peace, and mana- 
ging wisely the revenues and expenditures of the 
Government. Industry will no longer wait for 
the Legislature to discover easy roads to sudden 
wealth, but will begin again to rely upon labor 
and frugality as the oidy certain road to riches. , 
Prosperity, which has h)iig been waiting, is now 
ready to come. If we do not rudely repulse her 
she will soon revisit our people, and will stay 
until another periodical craze shall drive her 
away. " 

After the attempt to repeal the Resumption 
law came the Silver fight, with all its ferocity; 
and in a circle of nine States around (and in- 
cluding) Ohio, General Garfield was the only 
political leader on either side who voted against 
flooding the countiy with depreciated silver. He 
was not opposed to silver; he was in favor of 
it; but he insisted that silver coin should be 
equal in value with gold coin, so that every dol- 
lar should be at par before the law. This result 
was finally reached by a modification of the 
original bill, in which it was provided that the 
coinage of silver should be of a certain standard, 
and should not exceed a certain sum per month, 
and tills limitation saved the country from a del- 

Then came the extra session of Congress, in 
the spring of 1879, and the struggle over the 
election law. The speeches which General Gar- 
field delivered at this time have justly been 
classed among the ablest ever heard in the halls 

of Congress. Some extracts are made from 
them at the close of this volume. 

Among his last utterances in Congress was a 
speech entitled "Obedience totlie tiiw the fore- 
most Duty of Congress." A brief extract from 
this may not seem untimely : 

"I ask, gentlemen, wliether this is a time 
when it is safe to disregard and weaken the au- 
thority of law? In all quarters the civil society 
of this country is becoming honeycombed through 
and through by disiuiegratitig forces— in some 
States, by the violation of contracts and the re- 
pudiation of debts ; in others, by open resistance 
and defiance; in still others, by the reckless 
overturning of constitutions, and letting 'the red 
fool-fury of the Seine ' run riot among our peo- 
ple, and build its l)lazing altars to the strange 
gods of ruin and misrule. All these things are 
shaking the good order of society, and threaten- 
ing the foundations of our Government and our 
peace. In a time like this, more than ever be- 
fore, this country needs a body of law -givers 
clothed and in their right minds, who will lay 
their hands npon the altar of the law as its de- 
fenders, not its destroyers." 

And in tliis connection I would reproduce a 
few paragraphs from an article he wrote for a 
recent issue of the Atlantic Monthly: 

" Now, more than ever before, the people are 
responsible for the character of their Congress. 
If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, 
it is because the people tolerate ignorance, reck- 
lessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, 
brave, and pure, it is because the people demand 
those high qnalities to represent them in the na- 
tional legislature. Congress lives in the blaze 
of 'that fierce light which beats against the 
throne.' The telegraph and the Press will to- 
morrow morning announce at a million break- 
fast-tables what has been said and done in Con- 
gress to-day. Now, as always. Congress repre- 
sents the prevailing opinions and political aspi- 
rations of the people. The wildest delusions of 
paper- money, the crudest theories of taxation, 
the passions and prejudices that find expression 
in the Senate and House, were first believed and 
discussed at the firesides of the people, on the 
corners of the streets, and in the caucuses and 
conventions of political parties. 

"The most alarming feature of our situation 
is the fact that so many citizens of high charac- 
ter and solid judgment pay but little attention to 
the sources of political power, to the selection of 
those who shall make their laws. The clergy, 
the faculties of colleges, and many of the leading 
business men of the community never attend the 
township caucus, the city primaries, or the coun- 
ty convention ; but they allow the less intelligent 
and the more selfish and corrupt members of the 
community to make the slates and ' run the ma- 
chine ' of politics. They wait until the machine 
has done its work, and then, in surprise and hor- 
ror at the ignorance and corruption in public of- 
fice, sigh" for the return of that mythical period 
called the ' better and purer days of the repub- 
lic' It is precisely this neglect of the first steps 
in our political processes that has made possible 
the worst evils of our system. Corrupt and in- 
competent presidents, judges, and legislators can 
be removed, but when the fountains of political 
power are corrupted, when voters themselves 
become venal, and elections fraudulent, there is 
no remedy except by awakening the public con- 
science and bringing to bear upon the subject 
the power of public opinion and the penalties of 
the law. 

"In a word, onr national safety demands that 
the fountains of political power shall be made 
pnre by intelligence, and kept pure by vigilance ; 
that the best citizens shall take heed to the selec- 
tion and election of the worthiest and most in- 
telligent among them to hold seats in the nation- 
al Legislature ; and that, when the choice has 
been made, the continuance of their representa- 
tive shall depend u])on his faithfulness, his abil- 
ity, and his willingness to work." 

General Garfield's election to the United States 
Senate by the State of Ohio, and his more recent 
unanimous nominatioti by the Kepnblican Con- 
vention as candidate for the Presidency of the 
United States, are events too fresh in the pubhc 


mind to require any more than a mere mention 
in this biography. 

His letter of acceptance is herewith subjoined, 
in order that the reader may have the opportu- 
nity of comparing its sentiments with those that 
General Gai-field has announced in his speeches in 
Congress during the past eighteen years, copious 
extracts from which are in the following chapters. 
The .slightest examination will show the entire 
agreement between them, and thus it will be seen 
that the views here expressed are not gotten up 
for the occasion, but are his matured, fife- long 
convictions : 

"Mentor, Ohio, July 10th, ISSO. 

" Dear Sir, — On the evening of the 8th of 
June last I had the honor to receive from you, 
in the presence of the committee of which you 
were Chairman, the official announcement that 
the Republican National Convention at Chicago 
had that day nominated me as their candidate 
for President of the United States. I accept 
the nomination, with gratitude for the confi- 
dence it implies, and with a deep sense of the re- 
sponsibilities it imposes. I cordially endorse the 
principles set forth in the platform adopted by 
the Convention. On nearly all the subjects of 
which it treats, my opinions are on record among 
the published proceedings of Congress. 1 vent- 
ure, however, to make special mention of some 
of the principal topics which are likely to be- 
come subjects of discussion. 

"Without reviewing the controversies which 
have been settled during the last twenty years, 
and with no purpose or wish to revive the pas- 
sions of the late war, it should be said that, while 
the Republicans fully recognize and will strenu- 
ously defend all the rights retained by the people, 
and all the rights reserved to the States, they re- 
ject the pernicious doctrine of State supremacy 
which so long crippled the functions of the Na- 
tional Government, and at one time brought the 
Union very near to destruction. They insist that 
the United States is a nation, with ample power 
of self-preservation ; that its Constitution and 
the laws made in pursuance thereof are the su- 
preme law. of the land ; that the right of the Na- 
tion to determine the method by which its own 
Legislature shall be created cannot be surrender- 
ed without abdicating one of the fundamental 
powers of government ; that the national laws 
relating to the election of representatives in Con- 
gress shall neither be violated nor evaded ; that 
every elector shall be permitted, freely and with- 
out intimidation, to cast his lawful ballot at such 
election and have it honestly counted, and that 
the potency of his vote shall not be destroyed by 
the fraudulent vote of any other person. The 
best thoughts and energies of our people should 
be directed to those great questions of national 
well-being in which all have a common interest. 
Such efibrts will soonest restore to perfect peace 
those who were lately in arms against each oth- 
er, for justice and good-will will outlast passion. 
But it is certain that the wounds of the war can- 
not be completely healed, and the spirit of broth- 
erhood cannot fully pervade the whole country, 
until every citizen, rich or poor, white or black, 
is secure in the free and equal enjoyment of 
every civil and political right guaranteed by 
the Constitution and the laws. Wherever the 
enjoyment of these rights is not assured, discon- 
tent will prevail, immigration will cease, and the 
social and industrial forces will continue to be 
disturbed by the migration of laborers and the 
consequent diminution of prosperity. The Na- 
tional Government should exercise all its consti- 
tutional authority to put an end to these evils ; 
for all the people and all the States are members 
of one body, and no member can suffer without 
injury to all. 

'"The most serious evils which now afflict the 
South arise from the fact that there is not such 
freedom and toleration of political opinion and 
action that the minority party can exercise an 
effective and wholesome restraint upon the party 
in power. Without such restraint, party rule be- 
comes tyrannical and corrupt. 'The prosperity 
which is made possible in the South by its great 
advantages of soil and climate, will never be re- 
alized until every voter can freely and safely sup- 
port any party he pleases. 


" Next in importance to freedom and justice 
is popular education, without which neither jus- 
tice nor freedom can be permanently maintain- 
ed. Its interests are intrusted to the States, and 
to the voluntary action of the people. Wliat- 
evei- help the Nation can justly afford should be 
generously given to aid the States in supporting 
common schools ; but it would be unjust to our 
people, and dangerous to our institutions, to ap--? 
ply any portion of the revenues of the Nation or 
of the States to the support of sectarian schools. 
The separation of the Church and the State in ev- 
erything relating to taxation should be absolute. 

"On the subject of national finances, my views 
have been so frequently and fully expressed that 
little is needed in the way of additional state- 
ment. The public debt is now so well secured, 
and the rate of annual interest has been so re- 
duced by refunding, that rigid economy in ex- 
penditures, and the faithful application of our 
surplus revenues to the payment of the principivl 
of the debt, will gradually but certainly free the 
people from its burdens, and close with honor 
the financial chapter of the war. At the same 
time, the Government can provide for all its or- 
dinary expenditures, and discharge its sacred 
obligations to the soldiers of the Union, and to 
the widows and orphans of those who fell in its 
defence. The resumption of specie payments, 
which the Republican party so courageously and 
successfully accomplishes, has removed from the 
field of controversy many questions that long and 
seriously disturbed the credit of the Government 
and the business of the coimtry. Our paper cur- 
rency is now as national as the flag, and resump- 
tion has not only made it everywhere equal to 
coin, but has brought into use our store of gold 
and silver. The circulating medium is more 
abundant than ever before, and we need only 
to maintain the etiuality of all our dollars to in- 
sure to labor, and capital a measure of value from 
the use of which no one can suffer loss. The 
great prosperity which the conntry is now enjoy- 
ing should not be endangered by any violent 
changes or doubtful financial expeiiments. 

"In reference to our Customs laws, a policy 
should be pursued which will bring revenue to 
the Treasury, and will enable the labor and cap- 
ital employed in onr great industiies to compete 
fairly in our own markets with the labor and 
capital of foreign producers. We legislate for 
the people of the United States, not for the 
whole .world, and it is our glory that the Ameri- 
can laborer is more intelligent and better paid 
than his foreign competitor. Our country can- 
not be independent unless its people, with their 
abundant natural resources, possess the requisite 
skill at any time to clothe, arm, and equip them- 
selves for war, and in time of peace to produce 
all the necessary implements of labor. It was 
the manifest intention of the founders of the 
Government to provide for the common defence, 
not by standing armies alone, but by raising 
among the people a greater army of artisans, 
whose intelligence and skill should powerfully 
contribute to the safety arid glory of the nation. 
Fortunately for the interests of commerce, there 
is no longer any formidable opposition to appro- 
priations for the improvement of our harbors and 
great navigable rivers, provided that the expen- 
ditures for that purpose are strictly limited to 
works of national importance. The ^Ussi!^sippi 
River, with its great tributaries, is of such vital 
importance to so many millions of people that 
the safety of its navigation requires exceptional 
consideration. In order to secure to the Nation 
the control of all its waters. President Jefferson 
negotiated the purchase of a vast territory, ex- 
tending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific 
Ocean. The wisdom of Congress should be in- 
voked to devise some plan by which that great 
river shall cease to be a terror to those who 
dw^U upon its banks, and by which its shipping 
may safely carry the indnstiial products of 
25,000,000 of people. The interests of agricult- 
ure, which is the basis of all our material pros- 
perity, and in which seven-twelfths of otn- popu- 
lation are engaged, as well as the interests of 
manufactures and commerce, demand that tha 
facilities for cheap transportation shall be in-^ 
creased by the use of all our great water-courses. 

"The material interests of this cpijntiy, the 
traditions of its settlement, and the sentiment 
of oar people liave led the Government to offer 
the widest hospitality to emigrants who seek our 
shores for new and happier homes, willing to 
share the burdens as well as the benefits of our 
society, and intending that their posterity shall 
become an undistingiiishahle part of our popu- 
lation. The recent movement of the Chinese to 
our Pacific coast partakes but little of the qual- 
ities of such an emigration, either in its purpose? 
or its result. It is too much like an importation 
to be welconied without restrictions; too much 
like an invasion to be looked upon \yithout solic- 
itude. We catmot Consent to allow any form 
of servile labor to be introduced among us un- 
4er the gnise of immigration. Recognizing the 
gravity of tliis subject, the present Administra- 
tion, supported by Congress, has sent tp China 
a commission of distinguished ci^izens'for the 
pui^pose of securing such a modification of the 
fecisting treaty as will prevent the evils likely to 
arise from the present situation. It is confident- 
ly believed that these dijDloraatic negotiations 
will be successful, without the loss of commer- 
cial intercourse between the two powers, which 
promises a great increase of reciprocal trade and 
the enlargement of our inarkets.' Shoul^; these 
eiforts fail, it will be the duiy of Congress tp 
mitigate the evils already felt, and prevent theiir 
increase by such restrictions as, without violence 
or injustice, will place upon a sure foundation 
the peace of our communities^ a.nd the freedom 
and dignity qf labor. 

"The appoin^pient of.citizens to the vfirioiis 
executive and judicial offices of the Government 
is, perhaps, the most difiicult of alj duties wh|ph 
the Constitution has imposed on the Exequtive. 
The Convention wisely demands that Congress 
shall co-operate with the Executive Department 
in placing the civil service On a better basi?. 
Experience lias proved that, with our frequent 
changes of Administration, no system of reform 
can be made effective and permanent without 
the aid of legislation. Appointments to the mil-' 
itary and naval servic!^ are so. reguktqd by law 
and custom as to leave but, little ground for; 
complaint. It may not b^ wise to make similar 
regulations by law for the civil service. But, 
without invading the authority or necessary dis- 
cretion of the Executive, Congres? shpuld devise 
a method that wiU determine the tenure of of- 
fice, and greatly reduce the nncertf^inty ivhich 
ipakes that semce so uncertain and unsatisfac- 
tory. Without depriving any officer of his rights 
AS a citizen, the Goverriinerit should requiie him 
to discharge all his official duties with iijtelli- 
gence, efficiency, and fi^ithfulness. To select 
wisely from our v^ast populatipri th()s,e wjio ace^ 
best fitted for the many offices to b,e filled, re- 
duires an acquaintance^ far hej^ond the rjingp of 
any one-man. The Executive should, therefore, 
geek aiid receive the infcirmation and assist^npe 
dlFtho^e wbose knowledge of, the cpioinuniti^s in 
which' the dui;ies are to b? performe^.best'qualf- 
fies them to aid in making t^eVj^est choice. 

"The doctrines announced by the ChicagO| 
Convention are not the temporary device? of a, 
narty to attract vojes and carry^ an elec'tipi^; 
tney are ^ielibisrate, convictioris i;esnjtin|g h-oTn a, 
car^dl, study of the spirit of pijr institutipiis, the 
events of our history, and the, be,st impulses of 
our people. In my iii'dgni^n);, \hg|p ijfiinciples, 
should coiitrol the legislation and a^ipini^(i;af,ion' 
qf the Government. In any event, they will 
guide my conduct until ejsperi^pce jioints p\it_a, 
better \vay. 

" " if elected, it will Ije my pujRo^^ tp|, epfojrce 
strict ohedience to the Conqtitutioii and the l^ws, 
and to promote, as best I njay, the interest and 
I^onor of tlie \yhole country, relying for support 
upoii the wisdom of Cpiig|'ess,i the, intelligence 
and patriotism of the people) and the favpr of 

" With great respect, I ani, very truly, ypws, 

" J. A. G^JFJJJJ.D. 

"'];'o tbe,B^il. G.F. HoAB, Qh^ii-man of Commltitee," 

This imperfect! sketch of th^ life pf Gpneral 
Grarfield canriot be better clpse^ thftn by the^ fol- 
lowing estimate o.this^ cjha|i;acter f(nd puWit; spr-r 


vices by Presi^enl; Hin?(3ale,; of , Hii-aijn College, 
who has known him intimat^y for n^pre than a 
quarter of a century : 

" 1. His physical constitution. There rises up 
before me the Garfield whom I fii^st saw in,i853 ; 
strong-framed, six feet high, brpa^ - shouldered 
and deep-ehested ; a massive head, sni'ijipunted 
by a shock of tow-colored hair, anil a large blue 
eye. He, is the, feame, to-day, only tirpe has 
rpundecJ oulj l^js flgnre, browiied and thinned 
his hair, and ii;arlied his fijce with lines of 
thought. He is a good ejiter and sleeper, wpvks 
easily under high-pressure, and has a power pf 
physical endurance that can hardly be over- 

" 2. His naen.l:Rl chaf^cter. His power of log- 
ical analysis, and, classification is very, great; of 
rhetorical ex^positioh, hardly surpassed. H^ ex- 
cels it^ the patient ivccumulatipn of facfs, and, in 
striking generalizations. As a stud,ent, he loves 
tp roam, in every field, of aptivity. He, delights 
in poetry and, other \yorks of the imngiuation; 
loves tl^e abjftruse th,ings of philosophy ; ti^kes 
keen'ipterest,in scientific re^earqh ; g^fhers i^tp 
his storehouse the factis of history and politics ; 
and throws over all the life and «;f"'n)th of his 
ovvn originality. His general culture, is bioad, 
deep, and generous. He hf(?, the b,e,st instincts 
and ha])it^,of the studejjt an,d the scholar, P'rob- 
ahly no nian in Cong;i;e§s these twelve years, past 
has more won upon ofli; scientist^, pur scholiirs, 
and pur men of literature. Ha was tjie frie;^d of 
Henry and of Agiissiz ; of Lowell a,nd, pf Park: 
than. I quite agrpe (y^thl Geprge Alfved , Tovyn-r 
send in saying that no man since John Quincy 
Adams has carried to the P^'e^'dpH''*! chair so 
tho,rpugh a, training, so w,ide an in,te!lectual ap- 
precijitjon, or so rich aschblarsbip. Withal, fie 
is aji orator. Hi? speeches are strpng in fact, 
ribbed with principle, lucid in arguinen|^,'p.ol,ished 
in diction, rich in illustration, aii(l,^,^>'''> ^v>'|l the 
v.ital power of a noble h.eayt, 

"3. His moral character is.thefjtcrpiYn.tO, hi?, 
physical and intellectual naturp, has a 
kindev he^i't or a. ptjrer igind. ^i? generosity of ■ 
nature ;s,unstintedii ^11 his \}f^, public and pri- 
vate, is niarked by gi;eat,unse!fishne^,s, Fpr the 
most pai;t, he has, t^eglect^ed material acqiiisitipn , 
but his ineaiis, as vyell as his time and talent?, 
arp at, the c^U , of those \y?^q, need them, All 
these poii\t?cp,ijldhe;jlliji,st|:ated by a vohnpe.. pf- 
in,cidents. '"fhe pthej- d(iy, the represeiitative.of 
a great public journa|.asfced n^e, ' Whfit do thp., 
people wl)p kppvv Gep^val Garfield th'fpk of, his 
integrity ?' Had W. wit? fieep about n]s, I sh,p.i(ld; 
have answered, ' l),id the njpp whp saw Clj^eyjiUer 
3ayard hold the biidgie, pf Garigiiapp, agajnst 
the Spaniards dpuht; ms. courage^? Did, those 
who. saw Sir PhiHp Sidney, f^l on, Zntphen 
field question hi? chiyalryf Ag it, wgs, H first 
ansyirgred in a, general, way, syid, thfjn a^ded, 
'I have known General, Garfleld twenty -seypn 
ye^rs; I do not Ei^y that \ l<no\y hint as, we|| as 
onp, mi^n can liflow anp(her ; I knpjv ^i^t afi \\p]l^ 
a?, I c.ifij kpowf another; apd ^I'e.iie,is,,qp,i\it8)'ei?t 
that one tpan can coiiifide to l^is fellow:-man,tJist 
I wppld not; freely, illtrusj; to hi"), A little, later, 
anptl)er repprter called upon nie,in, i^iy stu,dy tp 
ol)|ljaij) sonrje fft<f ts t}lat|n^lgfft| l),e, of to, the. 
puhliq. ihadjust tl^rp\¥,n the, private letters ^^f^P 
General Garfield bjiflwrittien tp nje uppn tjheiflppr. 
Thiere wpre spme hui;i,dred? \i\ a^ ; the ^I'sp, writr 
ten ',n, "f^W^^t iiSjST, t)],e, lasf pfj^ thp, eiy|e,,of,tihe„ 
Clficago Conversion. I said tp film, ' IJerp aiV.? 
my (^rfield le,tter?, Spme' i\r,e, sqvfippjr, r|ptes, 
others dis?ertatipn?. 'They, are, qj^e, sidp/pf a 
long apd.intirnatp cpvrespondgnce. 'Thiey rp|i^,te 
to a, greist wainy suhjepf?, — bjisines?) dpP^estic 
n^afteris, religion, poUtics, life at hpme, syid, life 
abroad. With a few exceptions, I hayje, npt rpjid 
tljem sii^pe they wpre first reqejvsd- No man 
is, more, jealotis qf l^i? l^pnpr than am I.; l^ut| I 
nipnid b.e willing, ?p far as affecting hi? pht^'ivpr 
ter, is cpncerned, to havp them go in?p every ne\ys- 
paper in the land without rijy even refiding them 
oyer.' The. Chicago reporter did well tp asfc, 
'Wh^t do the people w;ho, knqv), him thin,^?'. 
TJheie is np better test than this. Now, I fear- 
lessly say that tfie^ nearer men, have comp, tp 
Generji^ Garfie|d the greater h^s been tjipiv con- 
fidence. I may say that; hp has ii;spit;ed un,u,s^^|, 

resppctt^nd fti\th in all largp-nninded and generp 
ous men, without regard tp pplitic?. La?t m^„ 
tey, in p.ointing for my students the moral qfbii 
life, I said : 

" 'Hp has commanded success. His a,bility, 
knowledge, mastery of questions, generosity of. 
nature, devotion to the public good, and honesty 
of,purpo?e, have done the wprk. lie has never 
had a pplitical " machine." He has never for- 
gptten the day of small things. He has never 
made personal enemies. It is difficult to see how 
a political triumph could bp more complete or 
more gratifying l;han his election to the Senate. 
No bargains, no "slate," no "grocery" at Co-, 
lumbus. He did npt even go to the Capital City. 
Such things are inspiring to thpsjp, who think; 
politics in a bad «;siy. He is a map of po?itiKei 
convictions, freely, utteredr Politically, hg njaj; 
bp called a, "man of war;" and yet few inen, or 
none, begrudge him his triunnph, Denctocrats 
vied "lUh J^epublicans the other, diiy in Washingr 
ton in snp\ving him, iipder with congralulatipijs,; them were a? anxious fpr his elpqtipn 
as any l^epijblipan coiild be. It vyas said that, 
he would go to the Senate without an enemy oij, 
either side of the chamber- These thing?, are 
honorahlg tp all pai,ties. They show that man- 
hood is moi;e than party.' 

"4. Hi? cljaractpr a? a public man, Hfi has 
served, the public with conspicuous ability apd^a, 
single, eye, He has moved all the time iii, thei 
right dirpcfion. He, has striven to make the pub- 
lic service cle^n and honovahlp ; tp inakft the, 
Gpyernment one of statesmen and patriots, not 
of demagogues and placemen; and in evpry vvay 
tp dignify and, ennoble the Bepubllc. 

"A newspaper man frpin a distant city, a?kedi 
me the pthpr day, ' How do you explain the 
common lack of ponHde.nce in Mr. Garfield's, 
courage.?' I s,ai4, ' Wh9 doubts his courage^.' 
He answered that hghttd. heard in V^ashingtou, 
and, in other pla,ces tha,t he lacke/i. backbone. ^ 
fptv questions revealed, that thosp who hold thi^ 
opinion, thought that lie did not denounce ' the 
Solid. South ' with^uffltiient severity, and was not 
properly ^ptive ip 'stirring up t,lie Brigadiers..?- 
If f ipsy parpdy lyiadame Kuhind, ' O, couragp, 
what folly is conimitfe,d,,ip tliy nanie.!' 1 have 
known a minister of the Gospel to he, called a 
cpwardihepanse hg coiii,d reqognize the, worth of 
thqsp whp d'd| npf \yorship ip his convent.i,ple. 
Similarly eagef partiijans charge with cowavdiqe, 
the r(ian who, Ipyal tp hi^ovyn convictioffls„ <Jfi 
truth and duty, d^rps to think andi act f^r, hu^r 
self. In both cases \ylmt is callejl. cowarditte i?. 
t|ie genuine luoral courage. To gp with: tbe^ 
stream — to ble?s with you;' secli or^tp hurrah vyltll, 
your party — is slight prppf qf, courage; but tq 
stand put by ypurself in, fflftral i^platipii, tp b^SSJ. 
the Jib,es of tho?e whonj yo,ii call your bfetbrsj). 
is a very high proof of character. Snch a mm 
is Qpner^l Garhpld. Hp li^s , uttpred many na- 
ble,V5ords; bijt none npj^lpr than those, spoken 
'n thp, OljlPi Senatie-ch^^ipl^p?;, just after his, ht^, 
jlfi9t.ip.ii : 

" ' Lei; me. vept,i^re^ tq ppipt, a single instance, 
in regard to that y)rqr^ Dnring.thp twenty years, 
that I haye, b^eq in puftljc life (almost eightee.a 
of it, in, tli,e„Qoji,gregj of the United States), Ih^xft do one thing. Whether I was mi?(ake5, 
or otherwise, it. has been the plan of niy life tp. 
follow, r(iy conyiqtipns, atiwhatpvpr personal ppsj, 
tp myse,lfi I have rep,vfisented for iu4ny ye«v9 H 
distr^qt in. Congress \yhpse approbation t gre!a,tljr. 
desii;ed, but though it may seem perhaps, a lit- 
tle egotistical to say it, I yet desired still mpre. 
the, apprpbatipn of oflie, persbn, and( his. name 
vyfts, Garfield. He is the oply man that I am 
compelled to sleep with, t^nd eat with, a,nd live 
with, and die w,it,h, and if I cpuld not have his, 
approbation I should have ha,d bad companion- 

"In taking, leave pf this sphject, I will say. 
that General Garfie)d i?, remarkable for thp bal- 
ance, haJ^'ony and rpundness of his nature, ^e, 
has distinguished hinptself in ediiqatipn, in \^ar, 
in oratory, in legislation ; and he might, hajje 
been distinguished in almost any walk of life.lja 
chose to follow.^' 

Garfield hi^s been coqipare^ to Gladstone. 
Bfifji, arei,deiep sludents of Bolitlc?, sqienqe. lao- 

' swages, and lifevatm-e ; bpth practised statesmen ; 
I bpth men of stjong moral qonyictions. Garfield 
1 has not vet reiichad the full maturity of his pow- 
!ers. He is a growing man. In the mWst of his, 
Ipressing oicuputions he has found time for the 
acquirement of a vast fund of general information. 
If he had been otheiwise phiced, he might 
been to JVmerican Sfience what Huxley has been 
to English science. Possessing unusual. breadth 
of mind, and the power of popiilarizins his knowl- 
edge, he could both collect and liisseminntg strik- 
ing facts in any department of human activity 
that he might explore. With more solidity and 
bflilanoe of mind than Gladstone, and little less 
versatility, he is an example of the best order of 
A,iiiei'ican itatesmen. 



No review of General Garfield's career caa ba 
complete which does not allude to his labors on 
the "stump." No man has done so much effec- 
tive woik there for freedom, as he^ and to-day he 
is the most powerful stump-orator in this coun- 
try. Iqgersoll can arouse, but Garfield both 
arOuses and ]iersuades. Whenever and wherever 
he speaks, he breaks the ranks of the Demoqra- 
cy. Space will allow me to quote only one of his 
stump-speeches, but I do that in full, because it 
should be read by every voter in the country. It 
was spoken at Cleveliind,Ohio, October 1 1 th, 1 879. 


THE Bar of public pPINlbN. 

',' FELLOw-ciri?ENS, — The distinguished gen- 
tlemen who have preceded me have covered the 
ground so completely and so admirably that I 
have a very easy task. I will pick up a tew 
straws here and there over the broad field, and 
ask you for a few moments to look at tliem. I 
take it for granted that every thoughtful, intel- 
ligent man would be glad, ifhe could, to be on 
the right side, believins that, in the long-run, the 
right side will be the stjong side. I take it, for 
gj'anted that every man would like to hojd polit- 
ical opinions tiiat will live some time, if he could. 
It is 3 v^ry awkward thing, indeed, to adopt a 
political: opinion, and trust to it, and find that it 
will not live overnight. [Laushter.], It wonld 
he an exqeedingly awk.\vnrd tiling to go to bed 
alone with your political doctrine, tr.usting, and 
believing in it, thinking it is true, and wake up 
in the. mO'ning and find it a corpse in your arms. 

"I should be glfid, for my part, to hold to a 
political doctrine that would live all through 
summer, and stand the frost, and stand a fregzo 
in the wijiter, and come out alive and true iij the 
^nng. [jLaugliter.] I should like to adopt 
palitical doctriiies that would live longer than 
my dog, [Laughter.} I should be glad to hold 
to a ptjlitical doctrine that \YOuld live longer than 
I shall live, and that my children after me might 
helieve in as true, and say, 'This doctrine iptrue 
tp.-day, and; it was true fifty years ago, when my 
jjltber adopted it.' 

'.f Every great political party that has, done 
this country any good has given, to it some im- 
mortalideas that have outljy.ed all the members 
(jf that party. The old Federal party, gave great 
permainQnt "ideas to this country that are still 
^ive. TheoRWJiig party did the same. The 
old, the very old, Democratic party did the same. 
[Jjaughter.] Th^ Raity qf , 4j|W''^^ Jaokspn, 
Benton, 'and Calhouif. But ' ' ' 


has given this countrj in the last twenty years 
no idea that has lived to be four years old. 
riaughfer.] I mean an idea, not a passioii. 
The' Democratic party has ha4 passions that 
have lasted longer than that. 'They have bad 
an immortal appetite for office. [Laughter.] 
That is just as strong to-day as it was twenty 
years ago. Somebody has. called the Democrat- 
ic party 'an organized appetite.' [Laughter.} 
But that is not an idea, that is of the belly 
[laughter], and not of the heart, nor of the brain. 
I say agdin they have given to this country no 
great national idea or doctrine that has lived to 


ha four yei^rs old ; ijnd if we had in thi? gi,'eat 
park, as in a great field, herded here together all 
the ideas that 'he Democratic party has uttered 
and put forth in (he last twenty years, there would 
not be found a four-year-old in the lot [laughter] 
— hardly a three-year-old — hardly a two-year-old. 
They have adopted a doctrine just to last till 
electioii was over; and if it did not succeed, they 
have dropped it to try another; and they have 
tried another until it' failed, and'then tried an- 
other ; and it has been a series of mere trials to 
catch success. Whenever they have started in 
a campaign, they have lool^ed out to aU the po- 
litiqal barns to see how the tin roosters were 
pointing, to learn from the political weather- 
cocks which way the wind is, lil^oly to blow ; and 
then they have made their doctrines aqcording- 
ly. [Laughter and applause.] This is no slan- 
der of the Democratic party. As my friend Mr. 
Foster has said, this is true not so mi^ch of the 
body of the party as of the leaders. What a 
dance they have put the good, sound, quiet, 
steady-going Democrat through during th^ last 
twenty years! [Laughter.] They made him 
denounce our war for iy long time; and then, 
when it was all over, they made him praise it, 
[Laughter.] They made him vote with a party 
that called our soldiers 'Lincoln's hirelings' 
and 'Lincoln's dogs;' and this very day one of 
the men who did that is parading up and down 
this State praising the Deiiiociatic pArty because 
it has two soldiers at the head of its ticket, and 
sneering at us because Mr. Foster was not a 
soldier in the field. 

" That party has taken both sides of every grqat 
question in this country in the last twenty years. 
They, are in fiivor of the war — after it is over, 
[Laughter.] They are in tiavor of hard money 
— or they will be next year, after it is an ac- 
complished fact. They were opposed to green- 
ba.cks when greenbacks were necessary to save 
the life of the nation, and when they thought it 
wonld be popular to oppose greenbacks. The 
moment they found it was unpopular they faced 
the other way, and declared that the greenback 
was the best currency the world ever saw. 

''I would like to ask that good, old, quiet 
Democrat how he has felt when they have told 
him to vote against the war one year and then 
praise it the next, and he had to follow his lead- 
ers all the while; how he felt when they told 
him to curse greenbacks, and he voted the ticket, 
and then when they ordered him to wheel right 
around on his heel and march the other way., 
and' vote the Democratic ticket all the time. 
;They told him, for example, that the proposil;ion 
to let the negro have his freedom was an out- 
rageous thing that must not be listened to, and. 
he voted the Democratic ticket. A little whUe 
after they came aiouud and said: 'We. will en- 
force all the amendments of the Constitution, 
the negro ainendment among the rest, and we 
are among the best friends thai; the negro ever 
had.' And yet he voted with them every time 
[laughter], facing iight the other way. When 
we proposed to give the ballot to the negro, they 
said, 'Why, he is an inferior race. God made 
him to be a hewer of wood, and a drawei: of wa- 
ter. He is inferior to us. He is o£ had odor, 
and bad every way, of low intelligence, and we 
will never, never allow, him to vote. ' What do 
they say now? They are cooing and billing 
wit;h every negro that will listen to them, and 
asking him to vote the Democratic ticket. They, 
are, saying to him, ' My friend, the. Democratic 
party was always a good friend of the negro. 
[Laughter.].' The Democratic party knows the 
negro better than the Republicans do. We have 
been nearer to you. We know, your habits. 
[Laughter.] We understand your character, 
and we can do you more good.' Yes, they have 
been nearer to you. The fellow that flogs you 
with a cat-o'-nine-tail» has to be pretty near to 
you. [Laughter.] They have a warm feeling 
for you. [Lauehter.] The man that brands 
your cheek wit'h a red-hot iron gets up a good 
deal of warmth toward you. [Laughter.] 

"But, my tViends, the curious thing is how a 
stcadjTgoing, consistent Democrat can have fol- 
lowed ill these crooks and turns and, facings- 
afaout pfi his party in all these years, and not 


haye gotten dizzy by turning §o frequently. 
[Laughter.] They shouted for.hard money, and 
he voted the Democratic ticket. They shouted' 
for soft money, and he voted the Demoqratic 
ticket. They said the three amendments to the 
Constitution were void and should not be obey- 
ed, and he voted the Democratic ticket. They 
walked light out to the next great election, 
bringing Horace Greeley in their arms, and said, 
'We will carry out all the amendments to the 
Constitution ; we vvill bfi the best fi:iend of the 
slave, in the world,' and he voted the Democratic 
ticket [laughter], fojlowing in the same wake. 

"Now, my friends, there has not been a lead- 
ing prophecy, there has not been a leading doc- 
trine put forward by the Democratic party in all 
th^se years that it has not itself abandoned. I 
do not believe there is a fair-minded Deinoqrat 
here to-night who doe^ not rejoice in his soul 
that his party has abandoned the leading doP,- 
trines of the last twenty years. [Laughter.]. 
Are you sorry, my Democratiq friend, that slav- 
ery is dead ? I believe you are not. Then you 
are glad that we out-voted you when you tried 
to keep it alive. [Applause.] Are you sorry 
that rebellion and secession are dead ? If yon 
ar^ not, then you are glad that you were over- 
vvhelmed and ont-votjed when you tried to keep 
the party that sustained them alive. [Applause. ] 
Are you glad that our war was nof a failure? 
If you are, you are glad that we voted you down 
in 1864, when your central doqtiine was that the 
war was a failure and mjist be stopped. If you 
are glad of so many things, will you not be glad 
when we have voted down your party next Tues- 
day, and elected Charley Foster Governor of 
Ohio? [Applause. A voice: 'We are going 
to do it fcr a fact.'] You are going to do it, I 
have no doubt. 


''There ai;e two great reasons why the people 
of this State are going, to do it. One is, that 
they do not intend to allow any more fooling 
vvith the business of this country. [Applause.) 
For the last four years the chief obstacle in the 
way of the restoraition of business prospeiity and 
the full employment of labor in this country has 
been the danger threatened to you by the poli- 
ticians in Congress. [Applause.] Business has 
waited to awaken. Prospejity has been trying 
to come. General Ewing. tells us that i|: is Di- 
vine Providence, and a good crop tjiat brought 
revival of busineiis tliis year. I remind General 
Ewing that we ha,d' a "bountiful ciop last year, 
and business did not revive. I remind him that 
the year before was a. year of great harvest and 
plenty, and prosperity did not come. 


'i^ Do, yoij. know that when we commenced this 
qampaign General Ewing began to preach his 
old sermon of last year — his gospel of gloom, 
and darkness, and difstvess, and misery ; and 
some of his friends said: ' But see here, Spying,, 
the furnaces are aflame, tilie mills are busy. It 
will not do to talk that these peojile are all in 
distress.' And fipr a vyeek or two Mr. Ewing 
denied that there was any revival of business. 
He d.enied it flatly. But every mill roared in. 
his ears, and. every furnace and forge flashed in 
his eyes the truth that there was a revival; of bu$i< 
ne^s ; and then for about four days he under- 
took to say that it was a campaign dpdge of the 
BepuhUcan party [laughter] ; that thsy started 
up a few iron-mills until election to aifect the 
election. But that would not vtork, for Dem- 
ocratiq States began to start their iron -mills 
[laughter] ; Rebel States began to boom in hiL'^i- 
ness ; and that second explanation of Mr. Ewing's 
would not work. Then he undertook, and is yet 
undertaking, to explain this pf osperity away. I 
heard a gentleman lately tell an incident that il- 
lustrates this futile attempt of Mr. Ewing. Eng- 
land wanted Garibaldi to be married to some 
distinguished English lady, so as to ally free 
Italy to Enghmd. They got it well talked up in 
diplomatic circles; but finally some unfortunate 
fellow suggested a fact that disturbed their cal- 
culations. It was that Garibaldi was married 
[laughter] ; that he had a young, healthy wife,. 



likely to outlive him. The old diplomatist, not 
to be balked by any obstacles, said, ' Nevei- mind ; 
we will get Gladstone to explain her away.' 
[Laughter.] Gladstone is a very able man, but 
when he attemps to explain away as real a 
thing as a woman [laughter], and a wife at that, 
he undertakes a great contract. [Laughter.] 
Thomas Ewing is not any abler than Gladstone, 
and his attempt to explain away this prosperity 
of our country will be more disastrous than the 
attempt of Gladstone would have been if he had 
made it. [Applause; cries of ' Hear !' 'Hear ! '] 
Everywhere he goes it meets him. 


" Pig-iron in this country, the lowest form of 
the iron product, has risen in price almost thir- 
teen dollars the ton since resumption came [ap- 
plause]; and all industries depending upon it 
have risen in proportion. My only fear — and I 
say it to the business men around me to-night — • 
is that the revival of business is coming too fast, 
and that we may overdo it and bring a reaction 
by-and-by. But that prosperity has come, and, 
if we do not abuse it, has come to stay, 1 have 
uo doubt. I do not claim that the resumption 
of specie payments has done it all. I admit that 
the favorable balance of trade, that the operation 
of our tariff laws, that our own great crops and 
the failure of crops in Europe, have done much 
to secure and aid this revival of business. 

But there is an element in this revival distinct- 
ly and markedly traceable to the resumption of 
specie payments, and I ask your indulgence for 
half a minute to state it. 


"All over this country there was hidden away 
in the hands of private men, in stocking-feet, in 
tills, in safes, capital that they dared not invest. 
Why ? Because they did not know what Con- 
gress would do ; whether it would vote their pros- 
perity up or down, whether the wild vagaries of 
fiat money should rule, or whether the old God- 
made dollar, of the Constitution and the fathers, 
the hundred-cent dollar, the dollar all round, 
should come to be our standard or not; and 
they waited. But the moment our Government, 
in spite of the Democratic party, in spite of the 
fiat money party, in spite of all croakers of all 
parties, resolved to redeem the great war prom- 
ises of the Nation, and lift our currency up to 
•be as good as gold the world over, that moment 
the great needed restoration of confidence came, 
and when it came, capital came out of its hid- 
ing-places and invested itself in business. [Ap- 
|)lause.] And that investment, that confidence, 
that stability, gave the grand and needed impe- 
tus to the restoration of prosperity in this coun- 

"Now, what has been the trouble with us? 
1860 was one shore of prosperity, and 1 879 the 
other; and between those two high shores has 
flowed the broad, deep, dark river of fire and 
blood and disaster through which this nation has 
tieen compelled to wade [applause], and in whose 
depths it has been almost suffocated and drown- 
.ed. In the darkness of that tenible passage we 
4:aiTied liberty in our arms ; we bore the Union 
•on bur shoulders ; and we boi-e in our hearts 
und on our arms what was even better than lib- 
•erty and Union — we bore the faith, and honor, 
.and public trust of this mighty Nation. [Ap- 
plause.] And never, until we came up out of 
the dark waters, out of the darkness of that ter- 
rible current, and planted our feet upon the solid 
shore of 1879 — never, I say, till then could this 
•country look back to the other shore and feel 
■that its feet were on solid ground, and then look 
forward to the rising uplands of pei'petual peace 
-and prosperity that should know no diminution 
in the years to come. [Applause.] 

" I rejoice, for my part, that the party to which 
I belong has not been fighting against God in 
^his struggle for prosperity. [Applause.] I re- 
joice that the party to which I belong has not 
iiad its prospects hurt by the coming of pros- 
perity. [Applause.] Can you say as much, my 
Democratic friend, for your party ? Would it 
not have been better for you at the polls next 
Tuesday if the blight had fallen upon our great 

corn crop, if the Colorado beetle had swept ev- 
ery potato-field in America, if the early frost 
had smitten us all ? ])on't you think Mr. Ewing 
could then have talked more eloquently about 
the grief, and suffering, and outrage, and hard 
times brought upon you by the Republican poli- 
cy of resumption ? [Applause and laughter.] I 
should be ashamed to belong to a political party 
whose prospect^ were hurt by the blessing of my 

"But it was so all during the war. Just be- 
fore election any time in Oliio during the war, a 
great battle that won a victory over the Rebellion 
hurt the Democratic parry in this State, and they 
walked about our streets looking down their noses 
in sadness and gloom, recogniziug tliat their bal- 
lots would be fewer on election-day because of the 
success of our arms;, and if our soldiers were 
overwhelmed in battle, if five thousand of your 
children were slaughtered on the field by the 
enemies of the Republic, the Democrats in Ohio 
walked more confidenrly to the polls on elec- 
tion-day, and said : ' Didn't I tell you so ?' [Ap- 
plause.] There is something wrong with a par- 
ty about which those things could be truthfully 
said ; and you know that they are the truth. 


"Now, I leave all that with this single reflec- 
tion : That it is to me for my party a matter of 
pride and congratulation that in all the darkness 
of these years we have not deceived you by any 
cunning device to flatter your passions or your 
hopes. We have told you these are hard times ; 
we are in the midst of suffering, and there is no 
patent process by which you can get out of it. 
Yon cannot print yourselves rich. Yon have got 
to suffer and be strong. You have got to endure 
and be economical. You have got to wait in pa- 
tience and do justice, keep your pledges, keep 
your promises, obey the laws, and by-and-by 
prosperity will come with its blessings upon you. 
We have now nothing to take back. We re- 
joice that we were true to you in the days of 
darkness, and we congratulate you that you have 
stood by the truth until your hour of triumph 
has come. [Applause.] 


" I said there were two reasons why I thought 
we would triumph next Tuesday. I have hinted 
at one ; I will now speak briefly of the other. I 
mean to say that the great audiences that have 
gathered everywhere in Ohio during this cam- 
paign have had more than finance in their hearts. 
They have thought of something as much higher 
than finance as liberty is more precious than cash. 
[Applause.] They have been moved — and I ask 
all Democrats to hear it with patience — by what 
I venture to call 

against liberty and this Government. [Applause.] 
I do not mean a rebellion with guns, for I think 
that was tried to the heart's content of the peo- 
ple that undertook it. [Applause.] Not that, 
but another one no less wicked in purpose and 
no less dangerous in character. Let me try in a 
few words, if it be possible to reach all this vast 
audience, to make you understand what I mean 
by this new rebellion. 

" Fellow-citizens, what is the central thought 
in American life? What is the germ out of 
which all our institutions were born and have 
been developed ? Let me give it to you in a 
word. When the Mayflower was about to land 
her precious freight upon the shore of Plymouth, 
the Pilgrim Fathers gathered in the cabin of that 
little ship, on a stormy November day, and after 
praying to Almighty God for the success of their 
great enterprise, drew up and signed what is 
known in history, and what will be known to the 
last syllable of recorded time, as 


In that covenant is one sentence which I ask 
you to take home with you to-night. It is this : 
' We agree before God and each other that the 
freely expressed will of the majority shall be the 
law of all, which we will all obey.' [Applause.] 

Ah, fellow-citizens, it does honor to the headl 
and the hearts of a great New England audience 
here on this Western Reserve to applaud the 
grand and simple sentiment of the Pilgrim Fa- 
thers. They said, ' No standing army shall be ' 
needed to make us obey. We will erect here in 
America a substitute for monarchy, a substitute 
for despotism, and that substitute shall be the, 
will of the majority as the law of all.' And that 
germ, planted on the rocky shores of New Eng- 
land, has sprung up, and all the trees of our lib- 
erty have grown from it into the beauty and 
glory of this year of our life. [Applause.] 

"Over against that there grew up in the South 
a spirit in ab.wlute antagonism to the 'Pilgrim 
Covenant.' That .spirit, engendered by the in- 
stitution of slavery, became one of the most pow- 
erful and despotic of all the forces on the face 
of this globe. 

" Let me state, even as an apology for that 
tyranny — if you and I owned a powder-mill in 
the city of Cleveland, we would have a right to 
make some very stringent and arbitrary rules 
about that powder-mill. We would have a right 
to say that no man should enter it who had nails 
in the heels of his boots, because a single step 
might ex|>lode it and ruin us all. But that would 
be an absurd law to make about your own house 
or about a green-grocer's shop. 

" Now, the estahlishmeut of the institution of 
slavery required laws and custom.s absolutely 
tyrannical in their character. Nails in the heels 
of your boots in a powder-magazine would ba 
safely compared with letting education into 
slavery. [Applause.] It was an institution that 
would be set on fire by the tprch of knowledge, 
and they knew it, and therefore they said, 'The 
shining gates of knowledge shall be shut every- 
where where a slave lives. It shall be a crime 
to teach the black man the alphabet ; a crime 
greater still to teach him the living oracles of 
Almighty God ; for if once the golden rule of 
Christ finds its way into the heart of a negro 
man, and he learns the literature of liberty, our 
institution is in danger.' Hence the whole 
Southern people became a disciplined, banded, 
absolute despotism over the politics of their sec- 
tion. They had to be. I do not blame them. 
1 only blame the system that compelled them to 
be so. Now, therefore, all before the wai- the 
Southern people were the best disciplined poli- 
ticians in this world. They were organized on 
the one great idea of protecting their Southern 
society, with slavery at its centre. Do you know 
the power of discipline ? Here is a vast audience 
often or fifteen thousand people in this Square, 
and you are not organized. One resolute cap- 
tain with one hundred resolute, disciplined sol- 
diers, such as stormed the heights of Kenesaw, 
could sweep through this Square and drive us all 
out hither and thither at their pleasure. And 
that is nothing against our courage. It is in 
favor of their discipline. The clinched fist of 
Southern slave-holders was too much for the great, 
bulky, proud strength of the North. They went 
to Washington, consolidated for one purpose, 
and they called all their fellows around them 
from the North, and said, 'Give way to our doc- 
trine, and you have our friendship and support. 
Go against us at all, and we will rule vou out 
of place and power,' The result was that the 
Southern politicians absolutely commanded and 
contrpUed their Northern allies. They converted 

of the most abject pattern ; and you know here 
to-night, if there be a Democrat who listens to 
me, that the Republican party was born as a 
protest against the tyranny of that Southern po- 
lineal hierarchy that made slaves of all Northern 
Democrats, [Applause.] Three-quarters of the 
Republican party were made up twenty-five years 
ago by Democrats that would no longer consent 
to be slaves. 

"Now, why am I going into that long tirade 
in the past? For this purpose. After the war 
was over, and reconstruction completed, this same 
Southern political hierarchy came back into 
power in Washington, and to-day they are as 
consolidated as the slave-holding poIiticianE of 

1 1 860-'61 were ! [' Hear !' ' hear ! '] And to-day 
' they hold in their grip absolutely all the Northern 
members of their party ! The Northern dough- 
face has again appeared in American politics, and 
he is found wherever a Democratic Congressman 
'^ts. [Applause.] I say without offence, it is 
the literal truth that this day there is not in all 
this country a free and absolutely independent- 
minded Democratic member of either House of 
your Congress at Washington. [Applause.] 

"Now let me go back for a moment, and re- 
turn to this point with a re-enforceipeiit. Are 
you aware that there is one thing that can kill 
this country, and kill it beyond all hope? That 
one thing is the destruction or enslavement of 
its voting population. The voting population of 
the United States is the only sovereign on thij 
continent. [Applause.] You talk about the 
sovereign States, or even the sovereign Nation. 
A corporation is not a sovereign. The corpora- 
tion that we call Ohio was made by the people, 
and they are its sovereigns. Even the grand 
corporation that we call the United States was 
created also by the people, who are its superiors 
and its only sovereigns. Now, therefore, if any- 
thing happens in this country to corrupt, or en- 
slave, or destroy the votere of the United States, 
that is an irreparable injury to liberty and the 
Union. [Applause.] If in Europe they slay a 
sovereign, one man is killed, and another can be 
found to take his place ; but when they slay our 
sovereign, there is no heir to the throne ; our 
sovereign has no successor. 

"Well, now, that is rather general, but I ask 
you to come down to particulars. Let me make 
this statement to you : In 1872, only seven years 
ago, in the eleven States that went into rebel- 
lion there were cast, at a free and fnir election, 
759,000 Repulilican votes, and 650,000 Democrat- 
ic votes. There is liberty for you ! There are a 
million and a quarter of free voting citizens east- 
ing their ballots for the men of their choice ! 

"This country has been growing in the last 
seven years, but let me tell you what calamity 
has happened to us. In those same eleven late 
Rebel States there have disappeared, apparently, 
from the face of the earth 400,000 American 
voters. Fellow-citizens, that is an awful sen- 
tence which I have just spoken in your hearing. 
I repeat it. In eleven States of this Union there 
have disappeared, apparently, from the face of 
the earth 400.000 American voters. Where 
have they gone? Tliey are all Republicans. 
Have they gone to the Democratic party ? No ; 
for the Democratic party has also lost some of 
its voters in those States. What has happened ? 
I will tell you. That spirit of Southern tyran- 
ny — that old spirit of despotism bom of slavery, 
has arisen and killed freedom in the South. It 
has slain liberty in at least seven of the eleven 
States of the South. 


"It happened in this wise: In 1872, in five 
States of the South, we had a miirked, over- 
whelming, and fair majority of Republican votes. 
For example, in the State' nf Mississippi, at the 
Congressional election of 1 872, there were thrown 
80,803 Republican votes, and there were thrown 
40,500 Democratic votes. Tliat was a fair test 
of the strength of the two parties. Five Repub- 
licans and one Democrat were elected to Con- 
gress fiom the State of Mississippi. Six years 
passed, and in 1878 there were just 2056 Re- 
publican votes thrown in the State of Missis- 
sippi. How many Democratic votes? 35,000. 
They had fallen ntf .")000 ; the Republicans had 
fallen off 78,000 votes. Wheie had the 78,000 
voters gone ? 1 will tell you. The Rebel army, 
without uniforms, organized itself as Democrat- 
ic clubs in Mississifipi. and, armed with shot- 
guns and rifles, surrounded the houses of Repub- 
lican voters, with the muzzles of their guns at 
their heads, in the night, and said, 'You come 
but and vote if you dare. We will kill you when 
you come.' And all over the State of Missis- 
sippi the Democratic party, being the old Rebel 
array, deploved itself among the cabins of the 
blacks, and "killed liberty everywhere through- 
out that State. 

"Why, In a. district of Mississippi where, m 


1872, 15,000 Republican votes were polled, and 
8000 Democratic, there were but 4000 polled for 
a Rebel general, and twelve scattering voles poll- 
ed for other people — not one Republican vote put 
in a box in all the district. So it was in Ala- 
bama. So it was in Louisiana, in part. So it 
was in the two Caiolinas. The result was this : 
400,000 voters substantially annihilated. And 
the further result was this: thirty Democratic 
Rebels elected in Republican districts 'where lib- 
erty had first been slain ; and to-day there are 
thirty members of Congress, not one of whom 
has any more right to sit there and make laws 
for yon and me than an inhabitant of that jail 
has a right to go there and make laws for us. 
[Applause.] They are not created Congress- 
men by virtue of law, but by virtue of mur- 
der, assassination, riot, intimidation ; and on the 
dead body of American liberty they stand and 
make laws for you and me. [Applause.] That 
gives them the House. That gives them the 
Senate. That gives the old slave power and 
the old Rebel power its grip again on this coun- 
try, and it gives them what we call the Solid 
South. I am talking plain talk. I am tallying 
words that I expect will be read by every gen- 
tleman in Congress whom I am to-night denounc- 
ing. I expect to meet those gentlemen and 
make good every word I say. [Great applause.] 


"Now, what purpose has this Solid South in 
thus grasping power and killing liberty ? This : 
They are determined to make their old 'lost 
cause ' the triumphing cause. Who is their 
leader to-day? By all odds the most popular 
man south of Mason and Dixon's line is Jeffer- 
son Davis, of Mississippi. He is to-day their 
hero and their leader ; and I will give you my 
proof of it. 


"Do you know that our friend General Rice 
has been making a great deal of small capital out 
of the fact that he introduced an Arrears of Pen- 
sions hill for soldiers ? You all know what kind 
of a bill that was. It was a bill granting arrears 
of pensions to onr soldiers ; but it also granted 
arrears of pensions to all Rebel soldiers who 
had fought iu the Mexican war. We made a 
law that the mime of a man who had taken up 
arms against this country should be stricken 
from our pension rolls, and he should receive no 
money out of our treasury. That law Mr. Kice's 
bill repealed, in so far as it related to the Mexi- 
can soldiers, and he knew, and was told plain- 
ly, that that clause included Jefferson Davis 
as one of the pensioners to be helped by that 
law ; and even in that Rebel Congress there were 
many Democrats that could not quite be brought 
up to the scratch to vote to pension Jeft'erson 
Davis; and hence Mr. Rice's bill hung in the 
committee, and was not reported. Then a Re- 
publii'an member of the House moved to dis- 
charge the committee from the consideration of 
the whole subject. He introduced a bill that 
did not have Jeft'erson Davis in it, but had oidy 
our soldiers in it ; and that bill, not Mr. Rice's, 
passed. [Applause.] But when that bill got to 
the Senate a Democrat moved to add the Rice 
section that covered all Rebel pensioners under 
its provisions ; and then it was that Mr. Hoar, 
of Massachusetts, called the attention of the 
United States Senate to the fact that that 
amendment would include Jefferson Davis, and 
he moved an amendment to the amendment 
that it sTiould not be so construed. 


"What followed? Immediately there sprung 
to his feet our Ohio Senator. I blush for my 
State when I repeat it. Allen G.Tliurman arose 
to his feet and said, 'The Democratic Legislat- 
ure of Ohio has instructed me to vote to pension 
the soldiers of the Mexican war, and they did 
not instruct me to make an exception against 
Jellerson Davis, and therefore I vote against 
Mr. Hoar's ameudmetit.' Thereupon Mr. Hoar 
spoke against the amendment that would pension 
Jefferson Davis, and the moment he did it there 
sprung up all over that chamber champions and 


defenders of Jefferson Davis. The tomahawks 
literally flew, or rather metaphorically flew, ev- 
erywhere at the head of any Republican that 
dai'ed to suggest that the Government ought not 
to pension Jefferson Davis. Lamar, of Missis- 
sippi, an eloquent and able Senator, arose in his 
place and said that there had not lived on this 
earth, from the days of Hampden to Washington, 
a purer patriot and a nobler man than Jefferson 
Davis, of Mississippi. Man after man exhausted 
his eloquence in defending and eulogizing the 
archrebel who led this countiy into oceans of 
blood. I give you that to show the spirit that 
animates the people that rule in Congress to- 

"Now let me say a word more that connects 
what I am saying with the old story of the days 
before slavery was dead. I have been seventeen 
years a member of the House, and in all that pe- 
riod I never have once known, as my friends here 
on the stand can testify in their experience, of 
the members of the Republican party binding 
themselves in a caucus to support any bill before 
Congress. I have seen it tried once or twice, 
but I have always seen dozens of Republicans 
spring to their feet and say, ' I am a free man, 
and I will vote according to the interests of my 
constituents and the dictates of ray conscience, 
and no caucus shall bind me.' 


"But the moment the Democratic party got 
back into power again, that moment they organ- 
ized the caucus — the secret caucus, the oath-bound 
caucus, for within the recent extra session they 
have actually taken oaths not to divulge what 
occurred in caucus, and to be bound by whatever 
the caucus decreed, and I have known man after 
man, who had sworn by all the wicked gods at 
at once that he would not be bound to go for a 
certain measure, walk out of the caucus like a 
sheep led to the slaughter, and vote for the bill 
that he had cursed. They brought bills at the 
extra session so full of manifest errors that when 
we pointed them out they would admit in private 
that there were errors that ought to be corrected, 
but they would say, ' I have agreed to vote for it 
without amendment, and I will.' We pointed 
out wretchedly bad grammar in bills, and they 
would not even correct their grammar, because 
the caucus had adopted it. [Laughter.] Now, 
therefore, gentlemen, the Congress of the United 
Slates is ruled by a caucus. It has ceased to be 
a deliberative body. It is ruled by a secret cau- 
cus — and who rules the caucus ? Two-thirds of 
its members are men who fought this country in 
war ; who tried to destroy this nation, and who 
to-day look upon Jefferson Davis as the foremost 
patriot and highest political leader in America. 
Therefore, the leadership which rules you is the 
Rebellion in Congress. 


I " Well, now, what of that? This is not all. 
They look over the field of 1880 and they say 
they have got in their hands the Solid South, 
and they lack only one thing more. They lack 
thirty-seven electoral votes to add to their one 
hundred and thirty-five, and they have captured 
the offiees of the Government, and have captured 
the Presidency. The South will then have the 
whole control of this Republic in its hands. 

"Now, how are they going to get the thirty- 
seven electoral votes ? There are two States 
that will fill the bill— New York and Ohio. If 
they can get those two States next year they 
have indeed captured the Government. [A 
voice: 'They can't have them.'] This good 
friend says they can't have them. [A voice: 
'Never.'] They cannot get them in this audi- 
ence. This is not the place to capture the State 
of Ohio for Rebel brigadiers. They cannot capt- 
ure it in any of the great agricultural counties 
of Ohio, for they are sound and true to the Un- 
ion, and loyal to their heart's core. They can- 
not go into the central parts of patriotic New 
York ^nd capture the thirty-seven votes. 

"But I will tell you, fellow-citizens, what they 
hope to do, and there is one way by which they 
may succeed. Let me stop and say one single 


word to you about the great cities. Thomas 
Jefferson siiid thnt great cities were the sores on 
the body poliiic — the Cancers- whose roots run 
down ami curse, and will ultimately break up 
the country unless tliey are ruled. A city of the 
size of Cleveliind has its troubles. A great city 
like the city of New York has passed the bounds 
of safety in this country. 

"The ablest orator that Rome ever produced, 
in descniiing the political party led by Catiline, ' 
said that all the bankrupts, all the desperadoes, 
all the thieves and robbers and murderers gath- 
ered around Catiline; and finally, in a horrible 
figure of tremendous power, he said that the par- 
ty of Catiline was 'the bilge- water of Rome.' 
What a figine that is, my friends ! What do 
you mean by ' bilge - water ?' That water that 
leaks BteaUliily through your planks and down 
below the deck and in the darkness, out if 
sight, out Of reach ; it reeks and stagnates and 
8t?n'ks, breads pestilence and brings death Upon 
all that are on board. Cicero Said that that par- 
ty that gathered in Rome was ' tlie bilge-water 
of Rome,' and into that bilge- water, in the cities 
of Cincinnati and New York, the Democratic 
party desire to insert their political pumps and 
pnmp out the hell-broth that can poison and cor- 
rupt and ruin the freedom of both these great 
cities, and gain them to the Solid South. [Ap-' 
plause.] That is the programme. If they can 
get control of the elections, th^y will make both 
those cities strong enough Democratic to over- 
whelm all the votes thW the grefen latles of our 
connti'y can groiv. 


" Now, what is iii the w4y of that ? Just two 
things. Thfe United States have passed a law 
to j)nt a Democrat at one end of the ballot-box 
in the great cilifes and a Republican at the other 
end; and it empowered those two men, not to 
run the election, but to stand there as eyes of 
the Government and look^ook first to see that 
the ballot-box is empty wheti they begin, and 
theti to stand and look into the facAs of every 
man that votes, and if lie comeS to vote twice, 
recm"dit, and have him brought before the jiidgfe 
arid sent to the penitentiary for his criine, and' 
to stay there until itie polls are closed ; and then 
not allow the ballot-boxes to be sent off and the 
•vote connted in Secret by partisaii judges, but 
to be opened and unfolded and read in the light 
of day, rectnded and certified to by the Republi- 
can aVid Democratic officers, so that the justice 
of the biillot-bok Should not be outrhged and 
freedom slioilld not be sla:in. 

"No juster law was ever passed on this eon- 
tinent than that. It saved New York from the 
.^ilpremest of crimes. It elicited, even from a 
Democratic coramittefej of which A. V. Rice was 
a member, the highest ffosSible encomium in 1876. 
And he and Sunset Cox, of New York, in their 
-official report to Congress, recommended to all 
parts of the country the acfmirable election law 
•of Congress that brought into unison and co-op- 
eration the officer's of the State and the officers 
-of the nation, in keeping a pure ballot and a 
free election in the gi-eat cities. That is what 
the Democratic party said of this law in 1876. 
But their masters of the caucus had not then 
-jgiven out their decree. They have now given it ; 
and the decree from the secret caucus, the de- 
cree from their old slave-masters, has now gone 
forth : ' Take those two men away from the bal- 
lot-box. Wipe out the election law, so that the 
'Tweeds of New York and the Eph Hollands of 
•Cincinnati may have free course, and do the work, 
and fix 1880 in their own way.' That is the pro- 
.gramme of the Rebel brigadiers in Congress. 

" I understand that Mr. Ewing said here the 
•other night lie was amazed to hear Republicans 
talk as though they were afraid of a few Rebel 
brigadiers. It was not so surprising, he said, 
that our friend Foster should be afraid of them, 
throwing a slur at him because he was not in 
the army, but he was surpi'ised that General 
Garfield should be alarmed at the brigadiers. 
fLaughtcr.] I am here to answer GerieraV Kw- 
ing. [Applause.] As to who is afraid of brig- 
adiers, let him boast who has the first need to 
boast. [Applause.] 


"But there are some things I am afraid of, 
and I confess it in this great presence. I am 
afraid to do a mean thing. [Applause, and cries 
of 'Good.'] I am afi-aid of any policy that will 
let the vileness of New York C'ity pour its foul 
slime over the freedom of the American ballot- 
box and ruin it. [Applause.] And the man 
that is not afraid of that I iim ashamed of him. 


"Now, how to get those two men away from 
the ballot-box is the Rebel problem. If they get 
thetn away, the Solid South has triumphed. If 
they get them away, 'the lost cause' has won, 
and Jefferson Davis is crowned as the foremost 
man in America. If they get them avtay, good- 
bye for a generation to come to the old ' pilgrim 
covenant,' and the doctrine of the right of the 
majority to rule. 

"Now, how did they undertake to gfet them 
kv/ay? In this way: They said to us, 'At last 
we have got you. We have the control of the 
'Ti-easury. No money can be employed to Sup- 
port the Government unless we vote it by an ap- 
propriation. Now, we tell you that we will nev- 
er vote one dollar to support yonr Government 
until you join us in tearing down that election 
law, and take away those two witnesses from the 
polls.' That is what they told us. 

" Then we answered them thus : ' Eighteen 
years ago you were in power in this Congt-ess, 
and the last act of yoUr domination was this: 
You told us 'that if we dai'ed to elect Abraham 
Lincoln President yon Would shbbt our Govern- 
ment to death ; and we answered, " We are free 
men; begotten of freedom, and are accustomed 
to vote our thoughts. We believe in Abraham 
Lincoln. We vlfill elect him President." And 
we did. [Applause.] And then eleven great 
States declared that they would shoot the Union 
to death, and we appealed to the majesty of the 
great North land, and w'ent Out int^b a lAouband 
bldody battle-fields, and wi shot the shooters to 
death and saved this Union alive. [ApplauSi.] 
And for eighteen years you have beeti in exile, 
banished from power, and now, by v&'tue of 
milrder, and assassination, and the slaying of 
liberty, you have come back ; and the first act 
you do on your return is not now courageously 
to dare us out to battle, but, like asSasSins, cow- 
ards, murderers, you come to us and say, " With 
our hand on the throat of your Government, we 
will starve it to death if you do not let us pluck 
doiyn the sattred laws that protect the purity of 
electioiis."' And w'e said to them : 'By the sa- 
cred (neniories of eiighteen years ago,' we reply, 
'you shiiU not starve this Government to death, 
nor shall you tear down these laws. The inen 
that saved it in battle will now feed it in peace.' 
[Great applause.] 'The men that bore it on 
their shields in the hour of death will feed it with 
the gift of their hands in the hour of its glory.' 
And they said, 'You shall try it!' And they 
passed their iniquitous bill. They took the bread 
of the Government, and spread upon it the poi- 
son of the bilge-water of New York and CinCin-' 
nati, and they said to the Government, 'Eat this 
or starve ! ' They passed the iniquity through the 
House and through the Senate, and it went to 
an Ohio Republican who sits in the seat of great 
Washington [applause], whose arm is mailed 
with the thunder- bolt of the Constitution, and 
he hurled the power of his veto against the wick- 
ed bill and killed it. Five times they tried the 
iniquity, and five times he killed, with the power 
of the Constitution, the wickedness they sought 
to perpetrate. [Applause.] And then, like 
sneaking cowards as they were, they passed the 
appropriations all but six hundred thou.sand dol- 
lars' and said, ' We will come back to it next 
winter, and we will never give it up until we con- 
quer you; and in the mean time,' they said, 
'we will appeal to the people at the ballot-box.' 
They are now mnking that appeal — and so are 
we. That is what we are here for to-night. 
[Applause.] And it is that appeal that awakens 
this people as it has never been awakened before 
since the days of Vallandigham and Rrough, 
especially Brough. [Laughter.] In the pres- 
ence of this people, in the heart of this Old Re- 

serv'e, I feel the cbhscionsness of our strength and 
the assurance of Our victory. [A^^plause.] 


"Now, fellow-citizens, a word before I leave 
yOn, on the Very eve of the holy day of God — a 
fit moment to consecrate oin-selves finally to the 
great work of next Tuesday morning. I see in 
this great audience to-night a great many young 
men, young men who are about to cast their first 
vote. I want to give you a wind of suggestion 
and advice. - I heard a very brilliant thing said 
by a boy the other day up in one of our North- 
western counties. He said to me^ 'General, I 
have a great mind to vote the Democratic ticket.' ' 
That was not the brilliant thing, [l^aughter.] 
I*aid to him. ' Why ?' ' Why.' said he, ' my 
father is a Republicari, and my brothers are Re- 
publicans, and I am a Republican all over, but 
I want to be an independent nian, and I don't 
want anybody to say, 'That fellow votes the 
Republican ticket just because his dad does,' 
and I have half a mind to vote the Democratic 
tickdt just to prove my independence.' I did 
not like the thing the boy suggested, hiit I did 
adtriire the spirit of the boy that wanted to have 
some indfep^tidence o^ his cnvn. 

" Now, I tell you, youiig man, don't vote the 
Republican ticket just because your father votes 
it. Don't vote the Deniocratic ticket, even if he 
does vote it. [Laughter.] But let me give you 
this one word of advice, as you are about to 
pitch your tent in one of the great political 
camps. Your lifeis full and buoyant with hope 
nOw, ahd I beg you, when you pitch ^bbr teint, 
pitch it among the living and not among the 
dead. [Applause.] If you are at all inclined 
to pitch it among the Democratic people arid 
with tha.t party, let me go with you for a moment 
while we survey the groimd where I hope you 
will noit shortly lie. [Laughter,] It is a sad 
place, j'bung man, for yon to put your young life 
into. It is to me far more like a graveyard than 
like a c&mp for the living. Look at it! It is 
billbwed all over with the graves of dead issues, 
of btiried opinions, of exploded theories, of dis- 
graced dbcti'ines. You cannot live in coikfoVt 
in such a place. [Laughter.] Why, look here ! 
Here is a little double mound. I lobk down on 
it and I read, ' Sacred to the memory of Squatter 
Sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision.' A 
million and a half of Democrats voted for tTiafc, 
but it has been dead fifteen years — died by tlie 
hand of Abraham Lincoln, and here it lies. [Ap- 
plaiise.] YoUn'g man, that is not the place for 

"But look a little farther. Here is another 
mo'niinlent — a bfeck tomb — and beside it, as our 
distinguished friend said, there towers to the sky 
a m:onument of four million pairs of human 
fetters taken from the arms of slaves, and I read 
on its little headstone this ; ' Sacred to the mem- 
ory of human slavery.' For fmty years of its 
■infamous life the Defnoeratic party taught that 
it was divine — God's institution. They defend- 
ed it, they stood around it, they followed it to its 
grave as a mourner. But here it lies, dead by 
the hand of Abraham Lincnln. [Applause.] 
Dead by the power of tlie Republican party. 
[Applause.] Dead by the justice of Almighty 
God. [Great applause and cheers.] Don't camp 
there, young man. 

"But here is another — a little brimstone 
tomb [laughter] — and I read across its yellow 
face in luiid, bloody lines these wiirds: 'Sacred 
to the memory of State Sovereignty and Seces- 
sion.' Twelve millions of Democrats mustered 
around it in arms to keep it alive; but here it 
lies, shot to death by the niillinn guns of the 
Republic. [Applause.] Here it lies, its shrine 
burnt to ashes under the blazing rafters of iho 
burfiing Confederacy. [Applause] It is dead I 
I would not have you stay in there a minute, 
even in this balmy night air, to look u,., such a 
place. [Laughter".] 

" But just before I leave it I discover a new- 
made grave, a little mound — short. The grass 
has hardly sprouted over it, and all around it I 
see torn pieces of paper with the word 'fiat' on 
them [laughter], and I look down in curiosity, 
wondering what the little gravb is, and I read oa 

it : ' Sacred to the memory of the Rag Baby 
[laughter] nursed in the bvain of all the. fanati- 
cism of the world [laughter] ; rocked by iliomas 
Ewing, George H. Pendleton, Samuel Cary^and 
a few others throughout the land.' But it died 
on the 1st of January, 1879, and the one hundred 
and forty millions of gold that God made, and 
not fiat power, lie upon its little carcass to keep 
it down forever. [Prolonged applause.] 

"Oh, young man, come out of that ! [Laugh- 
ter.] That is no place in which to put your 
young life. Come out, and cpme over into this 
«amp of liberty, of order, pf liiw, of justice, of 
freedom [' Amen '], of all that is glorious under 
these night stars. 

" Is there any death here in our camp? Yes ! 
yes! Three hundred and fifty thousand sol- 
diers, the noblest band that ever trod the earth, 
died to make this camp a camp Of glory and of 
liberty forever. [Tremendous applause.] 

"But there are no dead i.ssues here. There 
are no dead ideas here. Hang out our banner 
from iinder the blue sky this niglit jintil'it shall 
sweep the green turf under .your feet ! It hangs 
over our camp. Kead away up under the stars 
the in^scription we bave written on it, lo ! these 
twenty-five years. 

" Twenty-flve years ago the Republican party, 
was married to Liberty, and this is pur silver 
wedding, fellow-citizens. [Great applause.J A 
worthily married pair love each other better on the 
diiy^ of their silver wedding (than on the day of 
their first espousals ; and we are truer to Liberty 
to-day, and dearer to God than we were when we 
spoke our first word of liberty. Kead away up, 
under the sky across our starry banner that first 
word we uttered twenty-five years ago! What 
was It? 'SJavery shall never extend over an- 
other foot of the territories of the great West.' 
[ApplauiSe.] , Is that dead or alive! Alive, 
thank ■ God, for evermore ! [Applause.] And, 
triier to-night than it was the hour it was writ- 
ten ! [Applause. ] Then it was a hope, a prom- 
ise, a purpose. To-night it is equal with the 
stars: — immortal history and immortal truth. 

" Come down the glrtrious steps of our ban- 
ner. Every great record we have made we have 
viiiditated with our blood and with our truth. 
It sweeps the ground, and i^ touches the stars. 
Come there, young man, and put in your young 
life where all is living, and where nothing is dead 
biit the heroes that defended it! [Applause.] 
I think these young men will io that. ['Of 
course they will!'] , 

"Gentlemen, we are closing this memorable 
campaign. We have got our enemies on the 
run - everywhere. [Laughter.] And all you 
need to do in tliis noble old city, this capital of 
the Western Reserve, is to follow them lip arid 
finish St iiy snowing the Rebellion under once 
moi-e. We stand oh an isthmus. This year and 
next IS the narrow isthmus between us and per- 
petual victory. If you can win now, and win in 
1880, then the very stars in their courses will 
fight for us. [Applause.] The census will do 
the work, and will give us thirty more freemen 
of the North in our Congress that will make up 
for the rebellion of the South. [Great applause.] 
We. are posted here, as the Greeks were posted 
' at 'fhermppjlse, to meet this one great barbarian, 
Xerxes of the isthmus. Stand in your places, 
men of Ohio ! Fight this battle, win this vic- 
tory, and then one more puts you in safety for- 
ever !" ' 



No one can obtain a full view of General Gar- 
field's career without a careful reading of his 
speeches in Congress. , The limits of this pub- 

•More than forty of hi's Oongressinnal speeches 
have appeared in pnmphlep furm. The following 
are some of their titles: "Free Cmnmeice between 
the Sta'tes ;" "iSTatiiiual Bureau of Educatiou j" "The 
Public JJeht and Specie Payments;" "Taxation of 
United States Bonds ;" "NrntihCensnsi" "Public Ex- 
penditures and .Qiyil Service;" ",The Tariff;" "Cor- 
rerrc'y aiid the Biiiite;" "Deliate nrtthe Currency 
Bill'" "On the McG'iiri-iibnn Claim:" "TRe Right to 
Oriffluate Revenue B:illa;" "Public .Expeiidifures;" 
"National Aid to Education;" "The Currency;" 


licatioil forbid their reproduction at length, and 
we must content ourselves, therefore, with such 
quotations as will give the general drift oi his 
political opinions. 

In the debate on the Constitutional Amend- 
ment to abolish Shivery on the 13th of January, 
1865,Mr. George H. Pendletoii,of 0!iio,delivered 
a very astute speech, in which he took the ground 
that slavery could not be abolished except by 
the consent of each individual State ;. that it was 
one of the reserved riglits under tlie Constitution 
which could not be in.terfered with, like that 
riglit by wliich no State can, unless by its own 
tonsentj ever be made to lose its equal repre- 
sentation in the Senate. This right of equal 
representation is the only thing that a constitu- 
tional amendment cannot change, and Pendleton 
undertook to show that, in the nature of the 
case, slavery was such a thing, and could not be 
touched by any power outside of the State itself; 
and if in every State except one the amendment 
should be adopted, in that one it would still con- 
tinue in force and operation. 

Mr. Garfield's speech was in answer to that 
argument. He said : 

IN SegaIid to SLXVEEY. 

" Mk. Speaker, — We shall never know why: 
slavery dies so hard in this Republic and in this 
Hall till we know why sin has such longevity 
and Satan is immortal. With marvellous teiiac- 
ity of existence^ it has outlived tiie expectatibtis 
of its friends and the hopes of its enemies. It 
has been declared here and elsewhere to be in all 
the several stages of mortality — wounded, mori- 
bund, dead. The question was raised by my 
colleague [Mr. Cox] yesteiday, whether it was 
indeed dead, or only in a troubled sleep. I know 
of no better illustration of its condition than is 
found in Sallust's admirable, liistory of the great 
conspirator, Catiline, wlio, when his final , battle 
was fouglit and lost, his army broken and scat- 
tered, was found far in advance pf his own troops, 
lying among the dead enemies of Rome, yet 
breaching a little, but exhibiting in his counte- 
nance all that ferocity of spirit which had char- 
acterized his life. So, sir, this body of sls^very 
lies before us among the dead enemies pf the 
Republic, mortally wounded, iippotent in its fiend- 
ish wickedness, but with its old ferpoity of look, 
bearing the unmistakable masi-ks of its infernal 
origin. , , 

" We can hardly realize that, this is the sahae 
people, and these the same Halls, where now 
scarcely a man can be found who will venture t0| 
do more than falter out an apology for slavery, 
protesting in the same breath that he has no Ipve 
for the dying tyrant. Nonp, I believe, but that 
man of more than supernal boldness, frofn the 
city of New York [Mr. Fernando Wood], has 
ventured, tfiis session, to raise his voice in favor 
of slavery ftn' its own sake. He still sees in its 
features the reflection of beauty and divinity, and 
only he. 'How art thou .falieh fioni heaven, 
O Lucifer, Sop of the morning! How art thou 
cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the 
nations!' Many mighty men have been slain 
by thee; many proud ones have humbled them- 
selves at thy feet ! All along the coast of our 
political sea these victims of slavery lie like 
stranded wrecks, broken on the headlaiids of 
freedom. How lately did its ad,vocaies, with im- 
pious boldness, maintain it as God's own, to be 

"Revenues and Expenditures;" "Ci)rrericy and the 
Public Paith;" " Appniprlnliiins;" "Counting the 
Electoral Vote;" "Repeal of the Besnmption Law;" 
"The New Scheme of American Ifinance ;" "The 
Tariff;" "Snspeusion and Resuinptioh of Specie Pay- 
ments;" "ftfeliitiou of the National Government to 
Science;" "Snsiar Tariff." "This may be a tedious 
recital, but tell me what American statesman ciin 
show a better list of titles ? Does it not read like the 
table Of contents to the speeclies (if Daniel VVebster f 
The captious of these speeches disclose the field ofhis 
most valuable public labors since 1S66; the speeches 
themselves show the ability, the knowledge, and the 
high purpose thathe brolight to its cilltivaMqn."— Peto- 
iDRNT HiNstiALK. Thiit Very able jounial, the Nation, 
Biiysi. "He has been for many years ail industrious 
member of Congress, who has borne a prominent and 
able part in the work of len;islatiiin, has long had a 
coiisiaerable share in shaiiing "r carrying all measures 
of Importance, and whose opinions on the great topics 
of the day are perfectly well known." 


venerated and cherished as divine ! It was an- 
other and higher form of civilization. It was 
the holy evangel of Amei'ica dispensing its mer- 
cies to a benighted race, and destined to beaf 
countless blessings to the wilderness of tlie West. 
In its mad arrogance it lifted its hand to strike 
down the fabric of the Union, and since that fa- 
tal day it has been a ' fugitive and a vagabond 
upon the earth.' Like the spirit that Jesus cast 
out, it has, since tlien, been ' seeking rest and 
finding none.' 

"It has sought in all the corners of the Repub- 
lic to find some hiding-place in which to shelter 
itself from the death it so richly deserved. 

" It souglit an asylum in the untrodden terri- 
tories of the West, but with a whip of scoipions 
indignant freemen drove it thence. I do not be- 
lieve that a loyal man can now be foimd who 
would consent that it should again enter them. 
It has no hope of harbor there. It found no pro- 
tection or favor in the liearts or consciences of 
the freemen of the Republic, and has fled for its 
last hope of safety behind the shield of the Con- 
stitution. We propose to follow it tliere, and 
drive it thence as Satan was exiled frotn heaven. 
But now, in the hour of its mortal agttny,, in this 
Hall, it has found a defender. 

"My gallant colleague [Mr. Pendleton], for 
I recognize him as a gallant and able man, plants 
himself at the door of his diirling, and bids de- 
fiance to all assailants. He has followed slavery 
in its flight, until at last it has reached the great 
temple where liberty is enshrined — the ConstitCi- 
tion of the United States-r^and there, in that last 
retreat, declares that no hand shall strike it. It 
reminds me <;f that celebrated passage in the great 
Latin poet, in which the serpents of the Ionian 
sea, vvhen they had destroyed. Laocoon and his 
sons, fled to the heights of the Trojan citadel and 
coiled their slimy lengths around the fee)t of the 
tutelar gpddess, and weie covered by the oi^b of 
her shield. So, under the guidance of my col- 
league, slavery, goi'ged with the blood of ten 
thousand freemen, has climbed to the high citBr 
del of American nationality, and coiled itself se- 
curely, as he believes, around the feet of the s'tatne 
of justice, and under the shield of the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. We desire to follow 
it even there, and kill it beside the veiy altar of 
liberty.. Its bldod can never make atonement' 
for the least of its crimes. 

" But the gentleman has gone farther. He 
is not content that the snaky sorceress ishall be 
merely under the protection of the Constitution. 
In his view, by a strange metamuiphosis, slavery 
becomes an invisible essence, and takes. up its 
abode in the very grain and fibre of the Consti- 
tutipn...... But he has gone even deeper than 

the spirit and intent of the Constitution. He 
has announced a discovery to which I am sure 
no other statesman will lay claim. He has found 
a domain where slavery can no more be reached 
by human law than the life of Satan by tlie sword 

of Michael Not finding anything in the 

words arid phrases of tlie Constitution that for- 
bids an amendment abolishing slavery, he goes 
behind all human enactments, and far away, 
among the eternal equities, he finds a primal law 
which overshadows states, nations, and constitu- 
tions, as space envelops the imiverse, and by its 
solemn sanctions one human being can hold 'an- 
other in perpetual slavery. Surely, human in- 
genuity has never gone farther to protect a male- 
factor or defend a crime. I shall make no argu- 
ment with my colleague on this point, for in that 
high court to which he appeals eternal justice 
dwells with freedom^ and slavery has never en- 

"I now tnrn to the main point ofhis argu- 
ment. He has given us the key to his theory of 
the Constitution in three words. Upon those 
words rests the strength or weakness of his po- 
sition. He describes the Constitution of the 
United States as a " compact of confederation^ 

"If I understand the gentleman, he holds that 
each State is sovereign ; that in their sovereign 
capacity, as the source and fountain of power, 
the States, each for itself, ratified the Constitu- 
tion which the convention had framed. What 
po*eVs tliey dia not gr'airt, they reserved. They 
did not grant to the Federal Government the 



right to control the subject of slavery. That 
right still resides in the Suites severally. Hence 
no amendment of the Constitution by three- 
fourths of the States can legally affect slavery in 
the remaining fourth. Hence no amendment 
by the modes pointed out in the Constitution can 
reach it. This, I believe, is a succinct and just 
statement of his argument. The whole question 
turns upon the sovereignty of the States. Are 
they soveieign and independent novir? Were 
they ever so ? I shall endeavor to answrer. " 


Then, appealing to the facts of history, Mr. 
Garfield shows, by an incontrovertible argument, 
that sovereignty resides in the people, and not in 
the States ;* and then goes on to say : 

"On the 21st day of June, 1788, our national 
sovereignty was lodged, by the people, in the 
Constitution of the United States, where it still 
resides, and for its preservation our armies are 
to-day in the field. In all these stages of devel- 
opment, from colonial dependence to full-orbed 
nationality, the people, not the States, have been 
omnipotent. They have abolished, established, 
altered, and amended, as suited their sovereign 
pleasnre. They made the Constitution. That 
great charter tells its own story best : 

" * We, thf people of the United States, in order to 
form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure 
domestic tranqnilliiy, provide for the common dereuce, 
promote the general welfnre, and eecare the blessings 
of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain 
and establish this CuNSTiTnTioN for the IJuited States 
of America.' 

' Not ' we, the sovereign States,' do enter into a 

! or form a 'compact of confederation' 

In framing and establishing the Constitution, 
what restrictions were laid upon the people? 
Absolutely no human power beyond themselves. 
No barriers confined them but the laws of nat- 
ure, the laws of God, their love of justice, and 
their aspirations for liberty. Over that limit- 
less expanse they ranged at will, and out of such 
materials as their wisdom selec^ted they built 
the stately fabric of our government. That 
Constitution, with its amendments, is the latest 
and, the greatest utterance of American sover- 
eignty. The hour is now at hand when that 
majestic sovereign, for the benignant purpose of 
securing still farther the ' blessings of liberty,' is 
about to put forth another oracle; is about to 
declare that universal freedom shall be the su- 
preme law of the land. Show me the power that 

is authorized to forbid it They made the 

Constitution what it is. They could have made 
it otherwise then ; they can make it otherwise 
now On the justice of the amendment it- 
self no arguments are necessary. The reasons 
crowd in on every side. To enumerate them 
would be a work of superfluity. To me it is a 
matter of great surprise that gentlemen on the 
other side should wish to delay the death of 
slavery. 1 can only account for it on the ground 
of long-continued familiarity and friendship. I 
should be glad to hear them say of slavery, their 
beloved, as did the jealous Moor : 

" ' Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.' 

" Has she not betrayed and slain men enough ? 
Are they not strewn over a thousand battle- 
fields ? Is not this Moloch already gorged with 
the bloody feast ? Its best friends know that its 
final hour is fast approaching. The avenging 
gods are on its track. Their feet are not now, 
as of old, shod with wool, for slow and stately 
stopping, but winged like Meicury's, to bear the 
swift mesSiHge of vengeai^ce. No human power 
can avert the final catastrophe. 

"I did not intend, Mr. Speaker, ever again to 
address the House on the subject of slavery. I 
had hoped we might, without a struggle, at once 
and forever remove it from the theatre of Amer- 
ican politics, and turn oiir thoughts to those oth- 
er and larger fields now opening before us. But 
when. I saw the bold iind determined efforts put 
forth in this House yesterday for its preserva- 
tion, I could not resist my inrliiiation to strike 
one blow, in the hope of hastening its doom." 

* Speech of January 13th, 13G5, in Cimgreasumal JRcc- 

In the early part of the session of ] 866, Gen- 
eral Garfield defined in Congress his views of 
the nature of States in the Union, and of the 
duties of the nation to the freedmen. From his" 
masterly speech delivered in the House on Feb- 
ruary 1st, 1866, 1 make a few extracts. 


" The word ' State,' " he says, " as it has been 
used by gentlemen in this discussion, has two 
meanings, as perfectly distinct as though differ- 
ent words had, been used to express them. The 
confusion arising from applying the same word 
to two different and dissimilar objects has had 
very much to do with the diverse conclusions 
which gentlemen have reached. They have 
given us the definition of a 'State' in the con- 
templation of public or international law, and 
have at once applied that definition, and the 
conclusions based upon it, to the States of the 
American Union, and the effects of war upon 
them. Let us examine the two meanings of 
the word, and endeavor to keep them distinct 
in their application to the questions before us. 

"Phillimore, the great English publicist, says ; 
' For all the purposes of international law a 
State (demos, civitas, volk) may be defined to 
be a people permanently occupying a fixed ter- 
ritory, bound together by common laws, habits, 
and customs into one body - politic, exercising, 
through the medium of an organized government, 
independent sovereignty and control over all per- 
sons and things within its boundaries, capable 
of making war and peace, and of entering into 
all international relations with the other com- 
munities of the globe.' (Phillimore's Interna- 
tional Law, vol. i. sec. 65.) 

"Substantially the same definition may be 
found in Grotius, book one, chapter one, section 
fourteen ; in Burlamaqui, volume two, part one, 
chapter four, section nine ; and in Yattel, book 
one, chapter one. The primary point of agree- 
ment in all these authorities is that in contem- 
plation of international law a State is absolutely 
sovereign, acknowledging no superior on earth. 
In that sense the United States is a State, a sov- 
ereign State, just as Great Britain, France, and 
Russia are States. 

"But what is the meaning of the word State 
as applied to Ohio or Alabama? Is either of 
them a State in the sense of international law? 
They lack all the leading requisites of such a 
State. They are only the geographical sub- 
divisions of a State ; and though endowed by 
the people of the United States with the riglus 
of local self-government, yet in all their external 
relations t)ieir sovereignty is completely destroy- 
ed, being merged in the supreme Federal Gov- 
ernment. (Halleck's International Law, section 
16, page 71.) 

"Ohio cannot make war; cannot conclude 
peace; cannot make a treaty with any foreign 
Government, cannot even make a compact with 
her sister States; cannot regulate commerce; 
cannot coin money ; and has no flag. These 
indispensable attributes of sovereignty the State 
of Ohio does not possess, nor does any other State 
of the Union. We call them States for want of a 
better name. We call them States, because the 
original Thirteen had been so designated before 
the Constitution was formed ; but that Constitu- 
tion destroyed all the sovereignty which those 
States were ever supposed to possess in reference 
to external affairs. 

"I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the five great 
publicists, Grotius, Puffendorf, Bynkershoek, 
Burlamaqui, and Vattel, who have been so often 
quoted in this debate, and all of whom wrote 
more than a quarter of a century, and some near- 
ly two centuries, before our Constitution was 
formed, can hardly be quoted as good authori- 
ties in regard to the nature and legal relation- 
ships of the component States of the American 

"Even my colleague from the Columbus dis- 
trict [Mr. Shellabarger], in his very able dis- 
cussion of this question, spoke as though a State 
of this Union was the same as a State in the 
sense of international law, with certain quali- 
ties added. I think he must admit that nearly 
all the leading attributes of such a State are 

taken from it when it becomes » State of the 
Union. ' 

" Several gentlemen, during this debate, have 
quoted the well-known doctrine of international 
law, 'that war annuls all existing compacts and 
treaties between belligerents;' and they have 
concluded, therefore, that our war has broken 
the Federal bond, and dissolved the Union. 
This would be true, if the Rebel States were 
States in the sense of international law — if our 
Government were not a sovereign nation, but 
only a league between sovereign States. 

"I oppose to this conclusion the unanswer- 
able proposition that this is a nation ; that thii 
Rebel States are not sovereign States, and, there- 
fore, their failure to achieve independence was a 
failure to break the Federal bond — to dissolve 
the Union 


"Let the stars of heaven illustrate our con- 
stellation of States. When God laimched the 
planets npon their celestial pathway He bound 
them all by the resistless power of attraction to 
the central sun, around which they revolved in 
their appointed orbits. Each may be swept by 
storms, may be riven by lightnings, may be rock- 
ed by earthquakes, may be devastated by all the 
teiTestrial forces and overwhelmed in ruin, but 
far away in the everlasting depths the sovereign 
sun holds the turbulent planet in its place. 
This earth may be overwhelmed until the high 
hills are covered by the sea ; it may tremble 
with earthquakes miles below the soil, but it 
must still revolve in its appointed orbit. So 
Alabama msy overwhelm all her municipal in- 
stitutions in ruin, but she cannot annul the om- 
nipotent decrees of the sovereign people of the 
Union. She tnnst be held forever in her orbit 

of obedience and duty, 

, " We should do nothing inconsistent with the 
spirit and gepiiis of our institutions. We should 
do nothing for revenge, hut everything for se- 
curity ; nothing for the past, everything for the 
present and the future. Indemnity for the past 
we can never obtain. The four hundred thou- 
saiid graves in which sleep our fathers and broth- 
ers, murdered by rebellion, will keep their sacred 
trust till the angel of the resurrection bids,th(3 
dead come forth. The tears, the sorrow, the un- 
utterable anguish of broken hearts can never be 
atoned for. We turn from that sad but glorious 
past, and demand such securities tor the future 
as can never be destroyed. 

"And, first, we must recognize in all our ac- 
tion the stupendous facts of the war. In the very 
crisis of our fate God brought us face to face 
with the alarming truth that we must lose our 
own freedom or grant it to the slave. In the 
extremity of our distress we called upon the 
black man to help us save the Republic, and 
amidst the very thunder of battle we made a cov- 
enant with him, sealed both with his blood and 
ours, and witnessed by Jehovah, that when the 
nation was redeemed, he should be free, and 
share with us the glories and blessings of free- 
dom. In the solemn words of the great procla- 
mation of emancipation, we not only declared 
the slaves forever free, but we pledged the faith 
of the nation ' to maintnin their freedom ' — 
mark the words, 'to maintnin their freedom.^ 
The Omniscient witness will appear in judgment 
against us if we do not fulfil that covenant. 
Have we done it? Have we given freedom to 
the black man ? What is freedom ? Is it a 
mere negation ; the bare privilege of not being 
chained, bought and sold, branded and scourged? 
If this be all, then freedom is a bitter mockery, 
a cruel deln.sion, and it may well be questioned 
whether slavery were not better. 

" But liberty is no negation. It is a substan- 
tive, tangible reality. It is the realization of 
those imperishiible truths of the Declaration 
'that all men are created equal,' that the sanc- 
tion of all just government is ' the consent of 
the governed.' Can these truths be realized un- 
til each man has a right to be heard on all mat- 
ters relating to himself? 

" Mr. Speaker, we did more than merely to 
break off the chains of the slaves. The aboli- 
tion of slavery added four railUon citizens to the 

Republic. By the decision of the Supreme Couvt, 
by the decision of the Attorney-general, bv the 
decision of all the departments of our Govern- 
ment, those men made free are, by the act of 
freedom, mad^ citizens. As another has said, 
(;hey must be ' four million disfranchised, dis- 
armed, untausht, landless, thriftless, non-produc- 
ing, non-consuming, degiaded men, or four mill- 
ion land-holding, industrious, arms-bearing, and 
voting population. Choose between the two!' 

"If they are to be disfranchised, if they are 
to have no voice in determining the conditions 
under which tliey are to live and labor, what hope 
have they for the future? It will rest with their 
late masters, whose treason they aided to thwart, 
to determine whether negroes shall be peimitted 
to hold property, to enjoy the benefits of educa- 
tion, to enforce contracts, to have access to the 
courts of justice — in short, to enjoy any of those 
rights which give vitality and value to freedom. 
Who can fail to foresee the ruin and misery that 
await this race to whom the vision of freedom 
has been presented only to be witlidrawn, leav- 
ing them without even the aid which the mas- 
ter's selfish, commercial interest in their life and 
service formerly afforded tliem ? AVill these ne- 
groes, remembering the battle-fields on which 
nearly two hundred thousand of their number 
have so bravely fought, and many thousands 
have heroically died, submit to oppression as 
tamely and peaceal)ly as in the days of slavery ? 
Under such conditions there could be no peace, 
no security, no prosperity. The spirit of slavery 
is still among us; it must be utterly destroyed 
before we shall be ssafe 

" But, sir, there is a duty laid upon us by the 
Constitution. That duty is declared in these 
words: 'The USited States shall guaran- 
tee TO ETEKT State in this Union a repub- 
lican FORM OP government.' What does that 
mean ? Read the twenty-first and forty-third 
numbers of the Federalist, and you will under- 
stand what the fathers of the Constitution meant 
when they put that clause into our organic law. 
With wonderful foresight, amounting almost to 
prophecy, they appear to have foreseen just such 
a contingency as the one that has arisen. Madi- 
son said that an insurrection might arise too 
powerful to be suppressed by the local authori- 
ties, and Congress must have authority to put it 
down, and to see that no usurping government 
shall be erected on the rnins of a State.- 

"What is a republican form of government ? 
When the Union was formed the free colored 
people were not a tenth of the population of any 
State. Now all black men are free citizens, and 
'we are asked,' as the lamented Henry Winter 
Davis has so clearly stated it, ' to recognize as 
republican such despotisms as these : ' In North 
Carolina, 631,000 citizens will ostracize 331,000 
citizens; in Virginia, 719,000 citizens will ostra- 
cize 533,000 citizens ; in Alabama, ,596,000 citi- 
zens will ostracize 437,000 citizens; in Louisi- 
ana, 357,000 citizens will ostracize 350,000 citi- 
zens; in Mississippi, 353,000 citizens will ostra- 
cize 436,000 citizens; in South Carolina, 291,000 
citizens will ostracize 411,000 citizens.' 

" We are asked to guarantee all these as re- 
publican governments! Gentlemen upon the 
other side of the House ask us to let such shame- 
less despotisms as these be represented here as 
republiciin States. I venture to assert that a 
more monstrous proposition was never before 
made to an American Congress. 

' ' I am, therefore, in favor of the amendment 
to the Constitution that passed the otiter day to 
reform the basis of representation. I could have 
wished that it had been more thorough and 
searching in its terms. I took it as the best we 
could get ; but I say here, before this House, 
that I will never, so long as 1 have any voice in 
political affairs, rest satisfied until the way is 
opened by which these citizens, so soon as they 
are worthy, shall be lifted to the full rights of 
citizenship. I will not be factious in my action 
here. If I cannot to-day get all 1 desire, I will 
try again to-morrow, securing all that can be ob- 
tained to-day. But so long as 1 have any voice 
or vote here, they shall aid in giving the suffrage 
to every citizen qualified, by intelligence, to ex- 
ei'cise it. 


"Mr. Speaker, I know of nothing more dan- 
gerous to a Republic than to put into its very 
midst four million people stripped of every at- 
tribute of citizenship, robbed of the right of rep- 
resentation, but bound to pay taxes to the Gov- 
ernment. If they can endure it, we cannot. 
The murderer is to be pitied more than the mur- 
dered man ; the robber more than the robbed. 
And we who defraud four million citizens of their 
rights are injuring ourselves vastly more than we 
are injuring the black man whom we rob." 

It was during this same session that General 
Garfield, after two years thorough study of the 
subject, broke ground in Congress on the Cur- 
rency AND Sphcie Payments. His speech of 
March 16th, 1866, is the very A B C of finance. 
In it ho says, "I need only refer to the horn- 
books of financial science to show that the only 
sure test of the redundancy of paper-money is 
its convertibility into coin at the will of the hold- 
er, and that its redundancy rwill inevitably in- 
crease prices. On the latter proposition I will 
read a sentence from tlie highest living authority 
in political economy (John Stuart Mill, Political 
Economy, vol. ii. p. 18), 'That an increase of 
the quantity of money raises prices and a dim- 
inution lowers them is the most elementary prop- 
osition in the theory of currency, and without it 
we should have no key to any of the others.' 

"I call attention, because the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Stevens] has referred to it, 
to the remarkable example in British financial 
history. I have never seen a more perfect illus- 
tration of the truth that history repeats itself than 
this debate as compared with the debate in the 
British Parliament during their great struggle 
for a return to specie payments after the war 
against Napoleon. From 1797 to 1819 the Brit- 
ish people had only a paper circulation, and, as 
is always the case, the poorer currency drove out 
the better. As respectable people leave that por- 
tion of a city in which disreputable people settle, 
so gold retires before an irredeemable paper cur- 
rency. If our customs and the interest on our 
public debt had not been made payable in coin, 
gold would have disappeared from the country. 
In England, when they had no gold in circula- 
tion, when prices had risen, when rents had 
risen, after stocks had fallen. Englishmen did 
what we are now attempting to do. 

"I refer to this, sir, as a matter of history, 
and I further assert that there is no respectable 
authority on the subject of finance on the other 
side of the water or here that denies the doctrine 
that the only true test of redundancy of currency 
is its convertibihty into gold. You may bring 
your figures to prove that we have no more cur- 
rency than our trade requires, but I tell you that 
so>long as your paper dollar cannot be converted 
into gold there is too much currency, and the 
moment it can be converted into gold for its 
face it has reached a stable and safe basis. 

"Now, if any gentleman here has the temerity 
to deny this doctrine, I shall be pleased to hear 
his reasons for it. To make his denial good, he 
must prove that the immutable laws of value 
have been overthrown. He cannot plead that 
the necessities of trade alone control the value 
of currency. Double the amount of currency, 
and the money market will be apparently more 
stiingent; triple the amount, and money will be 
more stringent still. Why do we need four 
times as much money now to move the products 
of the country as was needed five years ago? 
Simply because the inflation of the currency has 
quadrupled prices, and deranged values. 

" But the worst featin'e in the case is the stim- 
ulus which this inflation gives to dishonesty eve- 
rywhere, and the consequent discouragement of 
productive industry. I will not now question the 
policy of the act of 1862, by which paper-money 
was made a legal tender. It was, perhaps, a 
necessity of the war that could not have been 
avoided. But no one will deny that it unsettled 
the basis of all values in this country. It was a 
declajation by law that a promise to pay a dollar 
might be discharged by paying a sum less than a 
dollar. There was a time within the last two 
years when an obligation to pay one hundred 
dollars cotdd be legally cancelled by the pay- 
ment of thirty-eight dollars. The manifold evils 


resulting from such a state of values cannot be 
computed. To fulfil in January the contract of 
July may ruin the creditor, because the mean- 
ing of the most important word in the contract 
has been changed by the changing market. The 
dollar of July may have represented forty cents, 
while the dollar of January may represent double 
that sum. 

"Will prudent men embark in solid busi- 
ness, and risk all they possess to such uncertain 
chances? There is left open the alluring temp- 
tation to speculate on the rise and fall of gold 
stocks and commodities — a pursuit in which all 
that is gained by one is lost by another, and no 
addition is made to the public wealth. And 
this is the history of thousands of our business 
men. They have trusted their capital to the 
desperate chances of Wall Street. They have 
embarked on the sea of paper-money, and they 
ask us to keep the flood rising that they may 
float. Every day adds stimulus to this insane 
gambling, and depresses legitimate business and 
honest labor. The tide must be checked, and 
the fury of the flood restrained. We mast bring 
values back to the solid standard of gold. Let 
that be done, and the fabric of business is found- 
ed, not on the sand, but on the firm rock of pub- 
lic faith. The fury of the storm tore us from 
our moorings, and left us to the mercy of the 
waves. Let us pilot the good ship again into 
port, so that we may once more feel the solid 
earth beneath our feet 

"Mr. Speaker, there is no leading financier, 
no leading statesman now living, or one who has 
lived within the last half-century, in whose opin- 
ion the gentleman can find any support. They 
all declare, as the Secretary of the Treasury de- 
clares, that the only honest basis of value is a 
currency redeemable in specie at the will of the 
holder. I am an advocate of paper-money,. but 
that paper-money must represent what it pro- 
fesses on its face. I do not wish to hold in my 
hands the printed lies of the Government; I 
want its promise to pay, signed by the high of- 
ficers of the Government, sacredly kept in the 
exact meaning of the words of the promise. 
Let us not continue to practise this conjurer's 
art by which sixty cents shall discharge a debt 
of one hundred cents. I do not want industry 
everywhere to be thus crippled and wounded, 
and its wounds plastered over with legally au- 
thorized lies 

" I propose, sir, to let the House take the re- 
sponsibility of adopting or rejecting this meas- 
ure. On the one side it is proposed to return 
to solid and honest values ; on the other, to float 
op the boundless and shoreless sea of paper-mon- 
ey, with all its dishonesty and broken pledges. 
We leave it to the House to decide which alter- 
native it will choose. Choose the one, and yoa 
float away into an unknown sea of paper-money 
that shall know no decrease until you take just 
such a measure as is now proposed to bring us 
back again to solid values.^ Delay the measure, 
and it will cost the country dear. Adopt it 
now, and, with a little depression in business, 
and a little stringency in the money market, the 
woi-st will be over, and we shall have reached 
the solid earth. Sooner or later such a measure 
must be adopted. Go on as you are now going 
on, and a financial crisis worse than that of 1837 
will bring ns to the bottom. I for one am un- 
willing that my name shall be linked to the fate 
of a paper currency. I believe that any party 
which commits itself to paper-money will go 
down amidst the general disaster, covered with 
the curses of a ruined people. 

"Mr. Speaker, I remember that on the mon- 
ument of Queen Elizabeth,where her glories were 
recited and her honors summed up, among the 
last and the highest, recorded as the climax of 
her honoi-s, was this : that she had restored the 
money of her kingdom to its just value. And 
when this House shall have done its work, when ' 
it shall have brought back values to their proper 
standard, it will deserve such a monument." 

In 1868 General Garfield followed up this 
speech by another on the currency, in which He 
very fully defined the nature and functions of 
money. It is worthy of being carefully pon* 




"In order to reach a sntisfiictory understand- 
ing of the currency question, it is necessary to 
consider somewhat fully the nature and func- 
tions of money, or any substimie for it. 

"The theory of money wliiih formed the ba- 
sis of the 'mercantile system' of the seventeenth 
and eighreenth eeniuries hus been rejected by 
all leading financiers nnd politicai economists for 
the last seventy-five years. That theory assert* 
ed that, money is wealth ; that the great object 
of every nation should be to increase its amount 
of gold and silver; that this was a direct in- 
ctease of national wealth. 

','It is now held as an indisputable-truth that 
money is an insU'ument of trade, and' performs 
but two functions. It is a measure ofivalueandi 
a medium of exchange. 

"In cases of simple barter, where no money 
is used, we estimate the relative values of the 
commodities to .be exchanged in dollars and. 
cents, it being our only universal measure of 

"As a medium of exchange, money is to all 
business transactions what ships are. to the trans- 
portation of merchandise. If a hundred vessels 
of a given tonnage are just sufiivient to carry all 
the commodities between two ports, any increase 
of the number of vessels will correspondingly 
decrease the value of each as an instrument olF 
commerce ; any decrease below one himdred will 
correspondingly increase the value of each. If 
the number be doubled, each will carry but half 
its usual freight, will be worth but half its former 
value for that trade. There is so imich. work to 
be done, and' no more. A hundred, vessels, can 
do it all. A thousand can do no more than all. 

"The functions of money as a medium of 
exchange, though more complicated in their ap- 
plication, are precisely the same in principle as 
the functions of the vessels in the case I have 

"If we could, ascertain the total value of all 
the exchanges effected in this country by means 
of money iii any year, and could ascertain how 
many dollars' worth of such exchanges can be 
effected in a year by one dollar in money, we 
should kiu)w how much money the country needl- 
ed for the business transactions of that year. 
Any decrease below that amount will correspond- 
ingly inciLease the value of each dollar as an in- 
strument of exchange. Any increase above that 
amount will correspondingly decrease the value 
ofreach dollar. If i,hat amount be doubled, each 
dollar: of the whole mass will peiform but half 
the amount of business it did before, will be 
worth but half its former value as a medium of 

" iBeCurring to our illustration : if, instead of 
sailing vessels, steam vessels were substituted, a 
mnoh smaller tonnage wouldi be required; so, 
ie it were found, that $.500,000,000 of paper, 
each worth seventy cents in gold, were sufficient 
for the business of tlie.countiy. it is equally evi- 
dent that |35(),000i000 of gold substituted for 
the paper would perform precisely the same 
amount of business. 

" It should be remembered, also, that any im- 
provement in the mode of transacting business 
by which the actual use ofmoney is in part dis- 
pensed' with, reduces the total amount needed by 
the country. How much has been accomplished 
in this direction by recent improvements in bank- 
ing, may be seen in the operations of the clear- 
iagrhouses in our great cities. 

'^ The records of the New York Clearing-houte 
show that, from October 11th, ls853., the date of 
its establishment, to October 11th, 1867, the ex- 
changes amounted to nearly one hundred and 
eighty thousand million dollars : to eHfect which 
less than eight thousand millions of money 
were used — an average of about four per cent. ; 
that is, exchanges were made to the amount of 
$100^000,000 by the payment of four millions 
of money. 

" It is also a settled principle that all deposits 
in banks drawn upon by checks atid drafts real- 
ly 'serve the purpose ofmoney. 

" The amornit of currency needed in the coun- 
tiy depends, as we have seen, upon the amount 

of business transacted by means ofmoney. The 
amount of business, however, is varied by many 
causes which are irregular and uncertain in their 
operation. An Indian war, deficient or abun- 
dant harvests, an overflow of the cotton lands of 
the South, a bread famine or war in Europe, and 
a score of such causes entirely beyond the reach 
of legislation, may make money deficient this 
year and abundant next. The needed amount 
varies also from month to month in the same 
year. More money is required in the autumn, 
when the vast products of agriculture are being 
moved to market, than when the great army of 
laborers are in winter- quarters, awaiting the 

". When the money of the country is gold and 
silver, it adapts itself to the fluctuations of busi- 
ness without the aid' of legislation. If at any 
jtime we have more than is needed, the surplus 
flows off to other countries through the chan- 
[Uels ofinternational commerce. If less, the de- 
ficiency is supplied 'through the same channels. 
Thus the monetary equilibrium is maintained. 
So immense is the trade of the world; that the 
golden streams pouring from California arid Aus- 
tralia into the specie circulation are soon ab- 
sorbed in the great mass and equalized through- 
out the world, as the waters of all the rivers are 
spread upon the surface of all the seas. 

" Not so, however, with an inconvertible pa- 
per currency. Excepting the specie used in 
payment of customs and the interest on our pub- 
lic debt, we are cut off from the money currents 
of the world. Our currency resembles rather 
the waters of an artificial lake, which lie in stag- 
nation or rise to full banks' at the caprice of the 

" Gold and silver abhor depreciated paper- 
money, and will not keep company with it. If 
our currency be more abundant than business 
demands, not a dollar of it can go abroad ; if 
deficient, not a dollar of gold will come in to 
supply the lack. There is no Legislature on 
earth wise enough to adjust such a currency to 
the wants of the coiintry. 

'.' Let us examine more minutely the effect of 
such a currency upon prices. Suppose that the 
business transactions of the country at the pres- 
ent time require $3!>,0,000,000 in gold. It is 
manifest that, if there are just $3.50,000,000 of 
legal-tender notes and no other money in the 
country, each dollar will pei:form the full func- 
tions of a gold dollar, so far as the work of ex- 
change is concerned. Now, business remaining 
the same, let $3SO,O0O,OOO more of the same kind 
of notes be pressed into circulation. The whole 
vblume, as thiis increased, can do no more than 
all the business. Each dollar will accomplish 
just half the work that a dollar did before the 
increase; but as the nominal dollar is fixed by 
law, the effect is shown in prices being doubled. 
It requires two of these dollars to make the same 
purchase that one dollar made before the increase. 
It would require some time for the business of 
the country to adjust itself to the new condi- 
tions, and great derangement of values 'would 
ensue ; but the result would at last be reached 
in all transactions which are controlled by the 
law of demand and supply. 

iijic]?EAas q;?, the pkbreijct is taxation, 

" No such change of values can occur without 
cost. Somebody must pay for it. Who pays 
in this case ? We have seen that doubling the 
currency finally resiilts in reducing the purchas- 
ing power of each dollar one-half; hence every 
man who held a legal-tender note at the time of 
the increase, and continued to hold it till the full 
effect of the increase was pi'oduced, suffered a 
loss of fifty per cent, of its value ; in other words, 
he paid a tax to the amount of half of all the cur- 
rency in his possession. This new issue, there- 
fore, by depreciating the value of all the currency, 
cost ttie holders of the old issue $176,000,000 ; 
and if the new notes were received at their nomi- 
nal value at the date of issue, their holders paid 
a tax of $175,0011,000 more. No more unequal 
or unjust mode of taxation could possibly be de- 
vised. It would be tolerated only by being so 

involved in the transactions of business as to be 
concealed from observation ; but it would be no 
less real because hidden. 

"But some one'may say, 'This depreciation 
would fall upon capitalists and rich men who 
are able to bear it.' If thi.i were true it would 
be no less nnjust. But, unfortunatejy, the capi- 
talists would suffer less than an^ other class. 
The new issue would be paid, in the first place, 
in large amounts to the creditors of the Govern- 
ment; it would pass from their hands before the 
depreciation had taken full effect, and, passing 
down step by step throtigh the ranks of middle- 
men, the dead' weight woiild fall at last upon the 
laboring classes in the increased price of all the 
necessaries of life. It is well known that in a 
general rise of prices, wages are among the last 
itb rise. This principle was illustrated in 'the re- 
jport of the Special Commissioner of the Revenue 
|for the year 186§. it is there shown that from 
the beginning of the war Ijo the end of 1866, the 
average price of all commodities bad ri.sen ninety 
per cent. Wages, however, had risen but sixty 
per cent, A day's labor would purchase but 
two-thirds as many of the necessaries of life as 
it would before. The wrong is therefone inflict- 
ed on the laborer long before his income can be 
adjusted to his increased expenses, It was in 
view of this truth that Daniel Webster said in 
one of his ablest speeches : 

"'Of all. the contrivances foi; cheating the labppng 
clasees'nf mankind, lioue hasbeeu more effectual than. 
that- which" dfehid'es them' with papei-nioney; This is', 
the most e^ectual of Inveutidiis lo fertilize the rich 
mail's 4eld by tl}e s.weat of.the poor man's, brow, Or- 
dniary tyrnnuy, oppression, excessive taxation, the^e^ 
bear' lightly on the hiippiu'ess of ihe mass of the com- 
mimity, compared with a fraudulent ciuTeucy audthe 
robberies coinmitted by dept;ec,iat^d paper.' 

"The fraiid committed and the burdens im- 
posed upon the people, in the case we have sup- 
posed, would be less intolerable if all business 
transactions could be really adjusted to the new 
conditions ; but even this is impossible. AU, 
debts would be cancelled, all contracts fulfilled by 
payinent in these notes — not at tlieir real value, 
but for their face. All salaries fixeil by law, the 
pay of every soldier in the Army, of every sailor 
in the Navy, and all pensions and bounties, would, 
be reduced to half their former value. In these 
cases the effect is only injurious. Let' it nev- 
er be forgotten that every depreciation of our 
currency results in robbing the one hundred, 
and eighty thousand pensioners, mnimed heroes, 
crushed and bereaved widows, a.nd homeless or- 
phans, who sit helpless at oui' feet. And who 
would be benefited by this policy? A pretence, 
of appl,ogy might be offered for it, if the Govern- 
ment could save what the people Ipse. But the 
system lacks the support of even that selfish and 
inrimoral considei'ation. 'The depreciation caused 
by the over-issue in the case we have supposed 
compels the Government to pay just that per 
cent, inpre on all the contract* it makes, on all 
the loans it negotiates, on all the siipplies it pur- 
chases ; aiid, to crown all, it must at last redeeih 
all its legal-tender notes in gold coin, dollar for 
dollar. The advocates of repudiation have not 
yet been bold enough to deny this. , 

" I have thus far considered the influence of a 
redundant paper currency on the country when 
its trade and industry are in a healthy and nor- 
mal state." I now call attention to its effect in 
producing an unhealthy expansion of business, 
in stimulating speculation and extravagance, and 
in laying the sure foundation of commercial re- 
vulsion and wide-spread ruin. This principle is 
too well understood to require any elaboration 
here. The history of all modern nations is full 
of examples. One of the ablest American writ- 
ers on banks and banking, Mr. Gouge, thus sums 
up the result of his researches : 

'"The history of nil oqr bank pressures and panics 
has been the same in 182S, in ISSti and in 1843;' and 
the cause given in these two simple words — uiilr^rsal 

"There still remains to be considered the effect 

of depreciated currency on our trade with 'other 
nations. By raising prices at home higher than 
they are abroad, imports are largely increased 
beyond the exports ; our coin must "go abroad ; 
or, what is far worse for us, our bonds, which 
have also suffered depreciation, and are pur- 
chased by foreigners at seventy cents on the dol- 
lar. During the whole period of high prices 
occasioned by the war, gold and bonds have 
been steadily goifig abroad, notwithstanding our 
tariff duties, which average nearly fifty per cent. 
dd valorem. More than five h'undred 'million 
dollars of our bonds are now held in Europe, 
ready to be thrown back npon us when any war 
or other sufficient disturbance shall occur. No 
teviff rates short of actual prohibition can pi'e- 
Tent this outflow of gold while bur currency is 
tlhns depreciated. During these years, also, our 
merchant marine steadily decreased, and our 
Ship-building interests were nearly ruined. 

" bar tonnage engageil in foreign trade, which 
amounted in 1859-'iiO to more than two and a 
hWf million tons, had fallen in 1 865-'66 to less 
t^an one and a half millions — a decrease of more 
than fifty per cent. ; and prices of labor and ma- 
terial are still too high to enable oar shipwrights 
to compete with foreign builders. 

"From the facts alrciidy exhibited in reference 
tb oiir industrial revolution, and from the fore- 
gbing analysis of the nature and functions of 
cuil-ency, it is manifest : 

" 1. Tliat the remarkable prosperity of all in- 
da^trial enterprise during the war was not caused 
by the abundance of currency, but by tlie uhpai"- 
alleled demand for every product of labor. 

" 2. That the great depression of biisiness, the 
stagnation of trade, the "bald times" which 
have prevailed during the past year, iand which 
still prevail, have not been caused by an insuffi- 
cient amount of currency, but mainly by the 
great falling off of ilie demand for all the prod- 
ucts of labor compared with the increased sup- 
ply since the return from war to peace 

" For my own part, my course is taken. In 
view of all the focts of oui- situation ; of all the 
ten-ible experiences of the past, both fit home 
and abroad ; and of the united testimony of the 
wisest and bravest statesmen who have lived 
and labored during the last century, it is my 
firm conviction that any considerable increase 
of the volume of our inconvertible paper-money 
will shatter public credit, will paralyze indostry 
and oppress the poor; and that the gradual res- 
toration of our ancient standard of value will 
lead as, by the safest and surest path, to national 
prosperity and the steady pursuits of peace." 

And while on this grand subject, it seems nec- 
essary to quote from another speech made by 
General Garfield on June Tth, 1870, 

which contains some sound views that should be 
not merely read but studied. 

"But some gentlemen say, ' Increase the green- 
back currency ; issue more ; it is popular ; it is 
safe ; it is cheap ; give it liberally, and satisfy the 
wants of the country.' This brings us to the 
question whether we will have the national bank 
currency or a currency issued directly by the 
Government. All those who believe that the 
national banks should be overthrown, and that 
the Government should itself become the man- 
ufacturer of the cuiTency of the country, will 
doubtless oppose this bill in all its provisions. 
There are a few gentlemen, whose opinions I 
very greatly respect, who believe such a substitu- 
tion ought to take place. I disagree with them 
for the following reasons : 

"In the first place, it is the experience of all 
nations, and it is the almost unanimous opinion 
of all eminent statesmen and financial writers, 
that no nation can safely undertake to supply its 
people with a paper cuiTency issued directly by 
the Government And, to apply that principle 
to our own country, let me ask if gentlemen 
think it safe to subject any political party who 
may be in power iin this Government to the 
great temptation of over-issues of .paper-money 
in lieu of taxation ? In times of high political 
excitement, and on the eve of a general election, 
when there might be a deficiency in the revenues 


of the country, and Cfthgress should find it nec- 
essary to levy additional taxes, the temptation 
would be overwheluiii'ig to supply the deficit by 
an increased issue of paper-money. Thus the 
whole 5)usiness of the country, the value of all 
contracts, the prices of all commodities, tlie 
wages of labor, would depend upon a vote in 
Congress. For one, I dare not trust the great 
industrial interests of this country to such un- 
certain and hazardous chances. 

"But even if Congress and the Administra- 
tion should be always superior to siich political 
temptations, still I affirm, in the second place, 
that no human legislature is wise enough to de- 
termine how much currency the wants of this 
country require. Test it in this House to-dav. 
Let every meriibei- mark down the amount which 
he believes the business of the country requires, 
and who does not know thkt the aihounts will 
vary by hundreds of millions? 

" But a third ohjectinii, stronger even than 
the last, is this : iihat such a currency possesses 
no power of adapting itself to the business of the 
country. Suppose the total issues should be five 
hundred millions, or seven hundred milliotls, or 
any amount you please ; it might be abundant 
for spring and sumtnei', 4nd yet when the great 
body of agricultural products were moving off to 
market in the fall that amount might be totally 
insufficient. Fix any volume you please, and if 
it be just sufficient at one period it may be re- 
dundant at another, or insufficient at another. 
No currency can meet the wants of this country 
unless it is founded directly upon the demands 
of business, and not upon the caprice, the ig- 
norance, the political selfishness of the party in 

"What regulates now the loans and discounts 
and credits of our national banks? The busi- 
ness of the country. The amount increases or 
decreases, or reihains stationai-y, as business is 
fluctuating or steady. This is a natural form of 
exchange, based upon the business of the coun- 
try and regulated by its changes. And when 
that happy day arrives when the whole volume 
of Our currency is redeemable in gold at the will 
of the holder, and recognized by all nations as 
equal to money, then the whole business of bank- 
ing, the whole volume of currency, the whole 
amount of credits, whether in the form of checks, 
drafts, or bills, will be regulated by the same 
general law, the business of the country. The 
business of the coimtry is like the level of the 
ocean, from which all measurements are made 
of heights and depths. Though tides and cur- 
rents may for a time disturb, and tempests vex 
and toss its surface, still, through calm and 
storm the grand level rules all its waves and 
lays its measuring-lines on every shore. So the 
business of the conn tiy, which, in the aggregated 
demands of the people for exchange of values, 
marks the ebb and flow, the rise and fall of the 
currents of trade, and forms the base-line from 
which to measure all our financial legislation, 
and is the only safe rule by which the volume 
of our currency can be determined.- 

"There is another consideration which I de- 
sire to present to this House, and it is this : we 
are not permitted to choose between banks and 
no banks. We are not permitted to choose be- 
tween a niitional banking system, and a green- 
back system managed immediately by the offi- 
cers of the Treasury. The national banks exist 
now only because they occupy the field, and the 
ten per cent, tax on State circulation prevents 
the issue of State bank-notes. 

"If we abolish the national banks, and under- 
take to conduct the business of this country by 
issues of greenback currency, the influence of the' 
State banks and of banking capital will soon 
compel the repeal of the ten per cent, tax ; and 
then will spring up again all the wild-cat banks 
against which the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. 
Ingei'soU] declaimed so eloquently a few days 

" We are shut up, in my judgment, to one 
of two things: either to maintain, extend, and 
amend the present national banking system, or 
to go back to the old system under which every 
State was tinkering at the currency, without 
concert of action and uncontrolled by any gen- 


eral law. Then banks were established under 
the law's of twenty-nine diffeient States, granted 
different privileges, subjected to different restric- 
tions, and their chcuhition was based on a grea't 
variety of securities, of different qualities and 
qinmtities. In some States the bill-holder was 
secured by the daily redemption of notes in the 
principal city ; in others bv the pledge of State 
stocks, and in others by coin reserves. But as 
State stocks differed greatly in vidne, all the way 
from the repudiated bonds of Mississippi to the 
premium stock of Massachusetts, there was no 
uniformity of security, and the amount of coin 
reserves required in the different States was so 
various as to make that security almost equally 

" It required the study of a lifetime to under- 
stand the various systems. Tliere were State 
banks with branches, imiependent banks, free 
biihks, individual banks, baiiks organized under 
a general law, and hanks with special charters. 
They represented all varieties of condition and 
credits. They were solvent, suspended, closed, 
wound up, broken, according as the fluctuation? 
of trade, and the wisdom or folly, the honesty 
or rascality of their managers dictated. Their 
notes had no uniformity of value, and nearly all 
of them — especially of the West and South — lost 
heavily in current value wheb cariied beyond 
the limits of the State. 

"Examine a Bank-note Eeportei- foi- 1862- 
'63, and consider the inass of trash there set 
down as the paper currency of the country. 

"In November, 1862, the circulation in the 
loyal States was $167,000,000. The State se- 
curities for this amount were only $40,000,000, 
leaving over $120,000,000 inadequately provided 
for. In only nine of the States did tlie law re- 
quire the circulation to be secured by State 

"In the State of Illinois, from 1851 to 1863, 
the failures of banks numbered eighty-inne, and 
their paper was reduced from one hundred per 
cent, to thirty-eight iti some instances. Of the 
$12,000,000 'of bank circulation in Illinois, the 
people lost: two or thi-ee millions directly, besides 
the indirect loss of as many millions more by de- 
rangement of business and ruin to private inter- 

"Of ten suspended banks in Minnesota, the 
notes were redeemed at an average of less than 
thirty cents on the dollar. 

"Of thirty-six broken banks of Wisconsin, , 
only six redeemed their notes at so high a rate 
as eighty cents on the dollar. 

"Even as early as 1860, a time of great com- 
mercial prosperity, the official report of only 
eighteen States showed one hundred and forty- 
seven banks broken, two linndred and thirty- 
four closed, and one hundred and thirty -one 
worthless. Such was the condition of live huii- 
dred and sixty-two banks; the whole number 
in those States being one thousand two hundred 
and thirty-one. But there was one class of pa- 
per issues which must not be overlooked— the 
vast cii-Culatioh issued by counterfeiters. There 
were in circulation, in 1862, about seven thou- 
sand different notes i.-^sued by the fifteen hun- 
dred banks. From statistics carefully compiled, 
it was ascertained that there were in existence 
that year over three thousand kinds of altered 
notes, seventeen hundred varieties of spurioiis 
notes, and over eight hundred varieties of imita- 

"Thus it appeat-s there were more than six 
thousand five hundi-ed varieties of fraudulent 
notes in circulation; and the dead weight of all 
the losses occasioned by them fell at last upon 
the people, who were not expert in snch matters. 
There were, in 1 862, but two hundred and fifty- 
three banks whose notes had not been altered or 

"Let it be remembered that for nearly half a 
century a large part of the rejenues of the gen- 
eral government were received in the notes of 
these State banks, in all stages of discredit and 
depreciation, and with all the attendant risks of 
counterfeit and altered bills. It is a fact worthy 
of remembrance that in 1819 the Secretary of 
the Treasury was compelled to borrow $500,000 
to meet a foreign debt of that amount ; and at 


that moment there were $22,000,000 surplus 
funds in the national Treasury, out of which he 
could not call enough current funds to meet the 

"In obedience to a resolution of Congress, 
adopted January 7th, 1841, the Secretary of the 
Treasury made a report, showing that, from 1789 
to 1841, three hundred and ninety-five banks had 
become insolvent, and that the aggregate loss 
sustained by the government and people of tlie 
United States was f3B5,451,497. The report 
also showed that the total amount paid by the 
people of the United States to the banlts, for the 
use of them, during the ten years preceding 1841, 
amounted to the enormous sum of $282,000,000. 

"Startling as these figures are, they fall far 
short of exhibiting the magnitude of the losses 
which this system occasioned. The financial 
journals of that period agree in the following 
estimate of the losses occasioned by the revul- 
sion of 1 837 : 

On bank circulation and deposits $54,000,000 

Bank capital, fniled and depreciated 243,000,000 

State stock depreciated 100,000,000 

Company stock depreciated 80,000,000 

Seal estate depreciated 300,000,000 

Total $7Si!,000,000 

" The State banl< system was a chaos of ruin, 
in which the business of the country was again 
and again ingulfed. The people rejoice that it 
has been swept away, and tliey will not consent 
to its re-estal)lishment. In its place we have the 
national banlc system, based on the bonds of the 
United States, and sharing the safety and credit 
of the Government. Their notes are made se- 
cure, first, by a deposit of Government bonds, 
worth at least ten per cent, more than the whole 
value of the notes ; second, by a paramount lien 
on all the assets of the b^nks; third, the per- 
sonal liability of all the share - holders to an 
amount equal to the capital they hold ; and, 
fourth, the aljsolnte guarantee by the Govern- 
ment to^redfeem them at the National Treasury 
if the b,*ffl<s fail to do so. Instead of seven thou- 
sand different varieties of notes, as in the State 
system, we have now but ten varieties, each uni- 
form in eharactei- and appearaiice. Like our 
flag, they bear the stamp of nationality, and are 
honored in every part of the Union. 

"Now, I do not speak for the banks; I have 
no J)ei'sonal interest in them ; but I speak for the 
interests of trade and the business of the country, 
which demand that no measure shall pass this 
House wliich may rudely shock those interests." 

His views on Be:fok.u in the Civil Service 
are set forth in two speeches — one delivered 
March 14th, 1870; the other July 31st, 1872. 

"No man whose vision is not utterly blinded 
by partisan feeling will deny that our civil ser- 
vice has fallen far below the high place which 
the founders intended it should occupy ; and it 
is no doubt true that the doctrine of 'spoils,' 
introduced in the days of Jackson, has been the 
chief motive power in dishonoring and degrad- 
ing that service. But a careful study of the sub- 
ject has led me to conclude that at the present 
moment another element is at work even more 
dangerous than the doctrine of 'spoils;' it is the 
tendency of the different departments of the Gov- 
ernment to interfere with the independence of 
each other. While it is made the constitutional 
duty of the President to recommend to Congress 
such measures as he considers for the public 
good, it was never intended that he should dic- 
tate to Congress the policy of the Government, 
nor use the power of his great office to force upon 
Congress his own peculiar views of legislation. 
The tendency to do this, beginning in the days 
of Jack.son, had a steady growth until its cul- 
mination in the administration of Andrew John- 
son ; when adherence to his policy of reconstruc- 
tion was made tlie test of party fealty and the 
ground of all executive favors. The effort to 
impeach Johnson was really an effort to protect 
Congress against Ihe unlawful encroachments 
of executive power. Curiously enough, since 
1867 a strong tendency has been developed in 
the opposite direction, and I do not hesitate to 
declare that we are now in greater danger of dis- 
turbing the balance and distribution of powers, 
by the interference of Congress with the execu- 


tive office, than we were in the days of Johnson 
from executive usurpation. 

"By the provisions of the civil tenure act the 
President cannot remove an officer even for the 
worst of crimes ; he can only suspend him until 
the Senate approves or disapproves the nomitia- 
tion of a successor. This has placed in the 
hands of the Senate so much control over execu- 
tive appointments that it has at last resulted in 
a custom now rigidly followed by the Senate, not 
to confirm a nomination foi' any State unless the 
Administration Senator from that State approves. 
This substantially subjects the President to the 
dictation of the Senators and Representatives in 
whose State he wishes to make an appointment. 
Thus his action is virtually no longer free ; his- 
appointments must be the result of compromise 
with the Senators and members ; and yet, under 
our theory of government, the President is held 
responsible for the character of the officers he 

"Many citizens, and a few Senators and Rep- 
resentatives, have sustained the President in his 
attempts to reform the civil service. He has un- 
dertaken to establish a body of rules by which 
selections for office shall be made on the ground 
of personal merit and fitness for the public ser- 
vice. But many members of Congress of both 
parties have denounced the attempt, and loaded 
it with all the odium they conld command. I 
have done what I could to sustain the President 
in this effort ; and though something has been 
accomplished, yet I am satisfied that no plan of 
competitive examination or advLsory boards can 
cure the evil until the Executive is left free and 
untrammelled in the exercise of his constitution- 
al powers, and is held to a strict responsibility 
for the result of his action. 

"During the debate on the appropriation to 
carry into effect his plan of civil service reform, 
I called on the President in company with my 
colleague, Hon. Mr. Perry, of Cincinnati, and 
had a full conversation on the subject. The 
President expressed an earnest desire to better 
the condition of the service ; but it was easy to 
see that the chief obstaeles in the way of success 
were those to which I have alluded. 


"In the annual report of the Secretary of the 
Interior there is a passage which should be com- 
mended to every member of this House. That 
officer says that he can do the work of his de- 
partment with two-thirds of the force which he 
now has under his control if you will only give 
him a reasonable and wise organization. I quote 
his words : ' The first measure of reform is to 
raise the standard of qualification, make merit 
as tested by the duty performed the sole ground 
of promotion, and secure to the faithful incum- 
bent the same permanence of employment that 
is given to officers of the Army and Navy. Un- 
der the present system the general conviction 
among the clerks and employes is that the reten- 
tion of their places depends much more upon the 
political influence they can command than npcn 
energy or zeal in the performance of duty. Af- 
ter a careful examination of the subject, I am 
fully persuaded that the measure I have suggest- 
ed would have enabled this Department to do 
the work of the past fiscal year with a corps of 
clerks one-third less in number than were found 

"I believe i am right in saying that one-half 
of all of that great army of clerks employed in 
the civil Departments are engaged in the mere 
business of copying; not in the use of judgment 
nor expert knowledge of business, nor the appli- 
cation of the law to the adjustment of accounts ; 
but to the mere manual labor of copying, filing, 
or counting. 

" Now, to do just such work as this, men can 
be hired all over the country for six or eight 
hundred dollars a year. Every business man 
knows that he can get a good, efficient copying 
clerk at that rate. But without any rational or- 
ganization we are paying that whole class of em- 
ployes at least double what they can get else- 
where. The whole business of civil appoint- 
ments depends upon that vague, uncertain, in- 
tangible thing called political influence. 

" Take the messenger service in these varioue. 
Departments. I saw a man in one of the De-j 
partments this morning whose whole business is, 
to sit at a door and open it when people come iiv 
and shut it when they go out, and occasionally 
to run into an office a few feet distant. Under 
our laws these messengers get eight hundred 
dollars a year, and if tliey were to go to any 
business man in thiscity they could not get half 
the money fiom him for the same kind of ser- 

"We employ common laborers in our Execu- 
tive Departments to do work for which we pay 
them twice or more than twice as much as they, 
can get anywhere else in the country where they 
are paid at the current rate of wages. In doing 
so we demoralize the whole system of labor. 
We pick one man out of a thousand and give 
him triple wages, thus making all the rest dis- 
contented office-seekers. Now, who is at fault 
in this? Not the President of the United States, 
not the Secretary of the Treasury, not the head 
of an)' Department of this Administration. Not 
any or all of these, exclnsively or mainly. The 
fault lies here, fellow-citizens of the House of 
Representatives ; here with us and our legisla-, 
tion. We make the laws ; we fix the rates of 
wages ; we render workingmen discontented with 
ordinary gains, by picking out and promoting in. 
an unreasonable and exceptional way the few 
men we hire, and they hold their places at our 
mercy and at our caprice. They are liable, at 
liny moment to be pushed a.side for another fa- 
vorite. Their service is miserable for its uncer- 
tainty. It tends to take away their indepen- 
dence and manliness, and make them the mere 
creatures of those in power. 

"We do all this ourselves; we go, man by 
man, to the heads of these several Departments 
and say, ' Here is a friend of mine; gfve him a 
place.' We press such appointments upon the 
Departments; we crowd the doors; we fill the 
corridors; Senators and Representatives throng 
the offices and bureaus until the public business 
is obstructed, the patience of officers is worn out, . 
and sometimes, for fear of losing their places 
by our influence, they at last give way and ap- 
point men, not because they are fit for the posi- 
tions, but because we ask it. There, Mr. Chair- 
man, is, in my own judgment, the true field for 
retrenchment and reform. I believe that we can, 
at almost half the present cost, manage all these 
Departments better than they are now managed, 
if we adopt a judicious system of civil service. 
There are scores of auditing and accounting offi- 
cers, heads of bureaus and divisions ; there are 
clerks charged with quasi judicial functions, 
through whose hands pass milliohs in a day, and 
upon whose integrity and ability the revenues of 
the nation largely depend, who are receiving far 
less than the railroad, telegraph, insurance, man- 
ufacturing, and other companies pay for services' 
far less responsible. Such officers we do not pay 
the market value of their services. When we 
find that the duties of any office demand ability, 
cultivation, and experience, let a liberal salary 
be given in order to procure the services of the 
best man ; and for the mere manual duties of 
these civil Departments let us get men for the 
market price. 

" Now, sir, what do we see ? The Republican 
party is not moving forward to make this need- 
ed change. The Democratic party is not mov- 
ing forward to make it. We are enjoying these 
privileges, so called, and our political opponents, 
are waiting and watching and hoping for the 
time to come when they can do the same — when 
we shall be out of power, and they shall come 
in to do the same miserable work of ousting and 
appointing which we are called upon to do year 
after year. Now, in the name of justice, in the 
name of economy, let us take hold of this mat- 
ter and sustain the Secretary of the Interior in 
the kind of work which he is doing, and help 
all the other Departments to follow his example. 
Some one may say, ' That is very fine talk ; 
show us the practice.' I will tell you about the 
practice. The Patent-office of the Interior De- 
partment has during a whole year been conduct- 
ed in part on the plan I am here advocating. 
No man, so far as I know, has been appoint^ , 



to service in that bureau except on a strict com- 
petitive exuminatioti. The result is that we see 
ill tile maiiageinent of the Patent-office marlied 
efficiency and economy. But what can a De- 
partment ilo, niiat can a bmeiiu do with tlie 
i<rh()le neiglit of congressional influence press- 
ing for the appointment of men because they 
are our friends ? In this direction is the true 
lineW statesmanship, the true paih of economy. 
Let lis take this great subject in hand, and it can 
be settled in a very few weeks." 


General Gfl.rfield's position upon this general 
subject may be se^n in the following extracts 
taken from a speech he made in the House, April 
1st, 1870. . 

"As an abstract theory of political economy 
free-trade has many advocates, and iniicli can 
be said in its favor ; nor will it be denied that 
the scholarship X)f modern times is largely on 
that side; that a large majority of the great 
thinkers of the present day are leading in the 
direction of what is called free-trade. 

" While this is true, it is equally undeniable 
that the principle of protection has always been 
recognized and adopted in some form or another 
by all naticms, and is to-day, to a greater or less 
extent, the policy of every civilized Govern- 

" Protection, in its practical meaning, is that 
provident care for the industry and development 
of our own country which will give our own 
people an equal chance in the pursuit of wealth, 
and save us from the calamity of being depend- 
ent upon other nations with whom we may any 
day be at war. 

"In so far as the doctrine of free-trade is a 
protest against the old system of oppression and 
prohibition, it is a healthy and wortliy sentiment. 
But underlying all theories, there is a strong an.d 
deep conviction in the minds of a great majority 
of our people in favor of protecting American 

■' We are limited in our tariff legislation by 
two things : first, the demands of the Treasury ; 
and, second, the wants and demands of Ameri- 
can industry. The Treasury we understand, 
but what is 'American industry?' I reject 
that narrow view which considers ' industry ' 
any one particular form of labor. I object to 
any theory that treats the industries of the coun- 
trv as they were treated in the last census, where 
we had "one schedule for ' agriculture,' and 
another for ' industry,' as though agriculture 
were not an industry, as though commerce and 
trade and transportation were not industries. 
American industry is labor in any form which 
gives value to the raw materials or elements of 
nature, either by extracting tliem from the earth, 
the air, or the sea, or by modifying their forms, 
or transporting them through the channels, of 
trade to the markets of the world, or in any way 
rendering them better fitted for the use of man. 
All these are parts of American industry, and 
deserve the careful and earnest attention of the 
Legislature of the natfon. Wherever a ship 
ploughs the sea, or a plough furrows the field ; 
wherever a mine yields its treasure; wherever 
a ship or a railroad train carries freight to mar- 
ket ; wherever the smoke of the furnace rises, 
or the clang of the loom resounds ; even in the 
lonely garret where the seamstress plies her busy 
needle, there is industry. 

"There have been few occasions when Con- 
gress and the countiy had more need than now 
of studying the lessons taught by the history of 
past legislation. I therefore ask the indulgence 
of the committee for a few moments while I re- 
view the history of our tarifl:' legislation. As I 
read that history the warning is repeated again 
and again to avoid extremes of legislation on 
tliis subject. 

"The second act of the First Congress was 
what has been called ' the Hamilton tariff of 
1789,' and continued in force, with some addi- 
tions and modifications, for twenty-five years. 
During that period the average rate of duty on 
imported goods did not exceed fifteen per cent. 

"The war of 1812 greatly crippled our com- 
merce, and proved the necessity of a more inde- 

pendent system of home manufactures. The pub- 
lic debt, which in 1815 reached 1120,000,000, 
required an unusually large revenue ; and at the 
meeting'of Congress in December, 1815, Mr. 
Madison recommended an inc^'eased duty on im- 
ports, not only for the sake of revenue, but also 
for the protection and inniiitenance of our man- 
ufacturing industry, which had received a pow- 
erful impulse during the latter part of the war. 
He expressed the belief that our manufacturing 
industry, ' with a protection not more than is due 
to the enterprising citizen whose interests are at 
stake, would become, at an early day not only 
safe from occasional competition from abroad, 
but a source of domestic wealth and even of ex- 
ternal commerce.' 

"During that session 'the Calhoun tariff of 
1816' was passed, which may be said to mark 
the beginning of discriminating protection. The 
bill was sustained by the South, but opposed by 
New England ; it being claimed on the one hand 
that it would utilize the cotton crop of the Sou(h, 
and on the other that it would injure the com- 
merce and fisheries of New England. The tariff 
of 1816 lasted for eight years, producing revenue 
from 20 to 35 per cent, of the importations, the 
average rate being about 25 per cent. 

"The year 1824 marked the era of what may 
be called ' the Clay tarirt',' which passed the 
House by five majority, and the Senate by three. 
This bill, also, encountered its heaviest opposi- 
tion from New England, Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire together casting twenty-three votes 
against ai^id only tliree for it. 

" In this tariff ' the American system,' as Mr. 
Clay named it, found its first complete embodi- 
ment. The duties imposed by it. ranged from 
34^ to 41 per cent. When it had been in oper- 
ation about four years the friends of protection 
determined to pusli the rates up to a still higher 
figure, and the act of 1828 was passed by a close 
vote, after an acrimonious debate, with bitter 
feeling and intense excitement on both sides. 
Almost immediately after its passage the reac- 
tion began, and it went on gathering head and 
force until, in 1832, resistance to the tariff as- 
sumed the form of nullification and open rebel- 
lion, and the whole country was brought to the 
verge of civil war. To avert such a calamity, 
Henry Clay, the great leader of the protective 
movement, himself came forward with a bill re- 
ducing the rates by a sliding scale, to operate for 
ten years, until the average of 20 per cent, should 
be reached. It is true that other questions were 
involved in the issue, bat the gentleman will find 
it unsafe to apply the test of history to his asser- 
tions. The contest was concerning the tariff, 
particularly the act of 1828. It was that act 
which South Cai-olina nullified and refused to al- 
low to be executed within her borders. When 
Clay's compromise tariff passed, South Carolina 
revoked her acts of nullification, and came out of 
the contest with flying colors. The compromise 
tariff of Mr. Clay prevented civil war. It went 
into operation in 1833 ; but the free-traders push- 
ed their victory so far that in 1840 a great reac- 
tion came from the other side, and they were in 
turn driven from power, and the tariff of 1842 
was adopted, by which the rate of duty was raised 
and fixed at an average of 33 per cent. 

"In 1845, the free-trade party having again 
come into power, a heavy reduction of the tariff 
was made in 1846, and the rate pushed down to 
an average of 24^ per cent. This act continued 
in force without material change during a period 
of nine years, when the Democratic party, flush- 
ed with success in the presidential election of 
1856, determined to push their fiee-trade policy 
to a still greater extreme, and in the tariff act 
of 1857 they reduced the rate of duty to 20^ per 
cent., a lower rate than it had reached in forty 
years. This law so crippled the revenue- of the 
Government that in 1860 the Treasury was emp- 
ty, and our credit so poor that the Secretary was 
paying 12 per cent, interest for loans, which even 
at that rate he found it diflicult to negotiate. As 
might be expected, there was another reaction in 
favor of higher rates, and the year 1861 marked 
a new era in the history of the tariff. In the 
winter of I860-'61 the nites were again raised. 
From the 2d of March, 1861, to the present time 

there have been thirteen separate tariff acts and 
resolutions, all of which have m .re or less in- 
creased the rate of duties, and it now averages 
about 47J per cent, on dutiable anicles, and over 
41 per cent, on all our imports, botli dutiable and 

"That these acts were made necessary by the 
war, few will venture to deny. Ii is also unde- 
niable that the heavy internal taxes imposed 
upon manufacturing industries neutralized the 
effect of protective duties, and made an increase 
of the tariff necessary as a measure of compensa- 
ting protection. But, as I have already shown, 
the heaviest burdens of internal taxes have been 
removed from manufactures, and a demand that 
some corresponding reduction in the tariff rates 
shall be made is coining up from all quarters of 
the country. The signs are unmistakable that a 
strong reaction is setting in against the prevail- 
ing rates, and he is not a wisi, legislator who 
shuts his eyes to the facts of the. situation. 

"The historical revieu' I have given strongly 
exhibits the fact that the industry of the country 
during the last half century has been repeatedly 
tossed up and down between two extremes of 
policy, and the country has suffered great loss by 
each violent change. 

"After studying the whole subject as careful- 
ly as I am able, I am firmly of the opinion that 
the wisest thing that the Protectionists in this 
House can do is to unite in a moderate reduc- 
tion of duties on imported articles. He is not a 
faithful Representative who merely votes for the 
highest rate jiroposed in order to show on the 
record that he voted for the highest figure, and, 
therefore, is a sound Protectionist. He is the 
wisest man who sees the tides and currents of 
public opinion, and uses his best efforts to pro- 
tect the industry of the people against sudden 
collapses and sudden changes. Now, if I do not 
misunderstand the signs of the times, unless we 
do this ourselves, prudently and wisely, we shall 
before long be compelled to submit to a violent 
reduction, made rudely an4 witiiout discrimina- 
tion, which will shock, if not shatter, all our pro- 
tected industries. 

" Tlfe great want of industry is a stable policy ; 
and it is a significant comment on the character 
of our legislation that Congress has become a 
terror to the business men of the country. TiiiB 
very day the great industries of the nation are 
standing still, half paralyzed at the uncertainty 
which hangs over our proceedings here. A dis- 
tinguished citizen of my own district has lately 
written me this significant sentence: 'If the laws 
of God aisd nature were as vacillating and un- 
certain as the laws of Congress in regard to the 
business of its peopl^, the universe would soon 
fall into chaos.' 

" I will not indulge in crimination or recrim- 
ination. I will take no part in the violent de- 
nunciation which we have heard in the progress 
of this debate. I do not believe, on the one hand, 
that the manufacturers are corruptly striving for 
their own gain as against the public good ; nor, 
on the other, that the free-traders have been 
bought with British gold, and are wilfully and 
knowingly the enemies of their country. 

" I stand now where 1 have always stood since 
I have been a member of this House. I take the 
liberty of quoting, from the Congressional Globe 
of 1866, the following remarks which I then made 
on the subject of the tariff: 

" 'We have seen that one extreme school of 
economists would place the price of all manufact- 
ured articles in the hands of foreign producers 
by rendering it Impossible for our manufacturers 
to compete with them ; while the other extreme 
school, by making it impossible for the foreigner 
to sell his competing wares in oiu- market, would 
give the people' no Immediate check upon the 
prices which our manufacturers might fix for' 
their products. I disagree with both these ex- 
tremes. I hold that a properly adjusted compe- 
tition between home and foreign products is the 
best gauge by which to regulate International 
trade. Duties should be so high that our man- 
ufacturers can fairly compete with the foreign 
product, but not so high as to enable them to 
drive out the foreign article, enjoy a monopoly 
of the trade, and regulate the price as they please. 



This is my doctrine of protection. If Congress 
pursues tliis line of policy steadily, we shall, year 
by yeai-, apjji'oach more nearly to the basis of 
free-trade, because we shall be more nearly able 
to compete with other nations on equal terms. 
I am for a protection wliiih leads to ultimate 
free-trade. I am for that free-trade which can 
only be achieved through a reasonable protec- 

" Mr. Chairman, examining thus the possibili- 
ties of the situation, I believe that the true course 
for the friends of protection to pursue is to re- 
duce the rates on impoi'ts wherever we can just- 
ly and safely do so, and, accepting neithei'' of 
the extreme doctrines in-ged on this flc^jr, en- 
deavor to establish a stable policy that will com- 
mend itself to all patriotic and thoughtful peo- 

Various tariff legislation occurred between 
1870, when the above speech was delivered, and 
1878, when Mr. Wood undertook the preparation 
of a tariff bill which greatly leduced duties on 
most articles of foreign manufacture. The course 
of General Garfield during these years was en- 
tirely consistent with the views announced in 
his speech of 1870 ; and in the early as well as 
In the later stages of the struggle over the Wood 
bill there was no uncertainty about his position; 
he was against the bill. On the 4th of June he 
delivered an elaborate speech against it in Com- 
mittee of the Whole, in the course of which he 
said: "I would have the duty so adjusted that 
every great American industry can fairly live and 
make fair profits. The chief chargel make against 
this bill is that it seeks to cripple the Protective 
features of the law." He further said, in con- 
cluding Ills speech : "A bill so radical in its char- 
acter, so dangerous to om' business prosperity, 
would work infinite mischief at this time, when 
the country is just recovering itself from a long 
period of depression and getting again upon 
solid ground, just coming up out of the wild 
sea of panic and distress which has tossed us so 

"Let it be remembered that 22 per cent, of 
all the laboring people of this, country are arti- 
sans engaged in manufactures. Their culture 
has been fostered by our tariff laws. It is their 
pursuits and the skill which they have developed 
that produced the glory of our Centennial Exhi- 
bition. To them the country owes the splendor 
of the position it holds before the world more 
than to any other equal number of our citizens. 
If this bill becomes a law it strikes down their 
occupation, and throws into the keenest distress 
the brightest and best elements of our popula- 

"When the first paragraph has been read, I 
will propose to strike out the enacting clause. 
If the committee will do that we can kill the 
bill to-day." 

On the day following the delivery of General 
Garfield's speech, his suggestion to strike out the 
enacting clause was carried into effect, upon mo- 
taon of Mr. Conger, and the bill was killed — yeas 
134, nays 121. 

During the recent session of Congress a vig- 
orous effort was made to break down the tariff 
by piecemeal legislation. "Divide and con- 
quer," was the motto of the Free-traders. They 
were defeated in every effort to reduce duties, 
and in every instance they encountered General 
Garfield's opposition. Iron and steel manufact- 
urers have good cause to remember his vote in 
the Ways and Means Committee last March on 
the bill of Mr. Covert to reduce the duty on steel 
rails. General Garfield voted with Judge Kel- 
ley and Messrs. Conger, Frye, Felton, Gibson, 
and Phelps against any reduction, and that was 
the end of Mr. Covert's bill— the vote being 7 
against to 6 in favor of it. Had the bill prevail- 
ed, the entire line of duties on iron and steel and 
other manufactures would have been seriously 

Such is General Garfield's tariff record — a 
course between two equally ruinous extremes. 
He has been charged with being a member of the 
British free-trade Cobden Club ; but he has re- 
peatedly declared over his own signature that the 
use of his name by the Cobden Club was wholly 
unauthorized by him, and that its free-trade doc- 

trines did not meet with his approval. If the 
Club thought, by the conferring of an empty 
compliment, to entrap liitn into an expression of 
sympathy with its principles and philosophy, it 
failed signally. 

In a speech delivered on the 4th of April, 
1871, General Garfield gave his wise and con- 
stitutional views on the bill for the enforcement 


"I am not able to understand the mental organ- 
ization of the man who can consider this bill, 
and the subject of which it treats, as free from 
very great difiiculties. He must be a man, of 
very moderate abilities, whose ignorance is bliss, 
or a man of transcendent genius whom no diffi- 
culties can daunt, and whose clear vision no cloud 
can obscure 

"There are two ideas so utterly antagonistic 
that wheiij in any nation, either has gained abso- 
lute and complete possession of that neutral 
ground, the ruin of that nation has invariably 
followed. The one is that despotism which 
swallows and absorbs all power in a single cen- 
tral government; the other is that extreme doc- 
trine of local sovereignty which makes national- 
ity impossible, and resolves a general government 
into anarchy and chaos. It makes biit little dif- 
ference as to the final result which of these ideas 
drives the other from the field ; in either case 
ruin follows. 

" Nothing more aptly describes the char- 
acter of our Republic than thp solar system, 
launched into space by the hand of the Ci'eator, 
where the central sun is the great power around 
which revolve all the planets in their appointed 
orbits. But while the sun holds in the grasp of 
its attractive power the whole system, and im- 
parts its light and heat to all, yet each individ- 
ual planet is under the sway of laws peculiar to 

" Under the sway of terrestrial laws, winds 
blow, waters flow, and all the tenantries of the 
planet live and move. So, sir, the States move 
on in their orbits of duty and obedience, bound 
to the central Gpvei-nment by this Constitiition, 
which is their supreme law ; while each State is 
making laws and regulations of its own, develop- 
ing its own energies, maintaining its own indus- 
tries, mana.niiig Its local glairs in its own way, 
subject only to the supreme but beneficent coii- 
trol of the Union. When State-rights, run mad, 
put on the form of secession, and attempted to 
drag the States out of the Union, we saw the 
grand lesson taught in all the battles of the late 
war. that a State could no more be hurled from 
the Union without ruin to the nation, than coidd 
a planet be thrown from its orbit without drag- 
ging after it, to chaos and ruin, the whole solar 

"Sir, the great war for the Union ha? vindi- 
cated the centripetal power of the nation, and 
has exploded, forever, I trust, the disoi'ganl^ing 
theory of State sovereignty which slavery at- 
tempted to impose upon this country. But we 
should never forget that there is danger in the 
opposite direction. The destruction or serious 
crippling of the principle of local government 
would be as fatal to liberty as secession would 
have been fatal to the Union. 

"The first experiment which our fathers tried 
in government-makingafter the War of Indepen- 
dence was a failure, because the central power 
conferred in the Articles of Confederation was 
not strong enough. The second, though nobly 
conceived, became almost a failure because slav^- 
ery attempted so to interpret the Constitution as 
to reduce the nation again to a confederacy, a 
mei;e league between sovereign States. But we 
have now vindicated and secured the centripetal 
power; let us see that the centrifugal force Is 
not destroyed, but that the grand arid beautiful 
equipoise may be maintained. 


"I presume it will not be denied that, before 
the adoption of the last three amendments, it was 
the settled interpretation of the Constitution that 
the protection of the life and property of private 
citizens within the States belonged to the State 
governments exclusively 


"Now, three amendments, the Thirteenth, 
Fourteenth, and Fifteenth, have been added to the 
Constitution, and it will not be denied that each 
of these amendments has so modified the Con- 
stitution as to change the relation of Congress to 
the citizens of the States. They have to some 
extent enlarged the functions of Congress, ^nd, 
within prescribed limits, have extended its juris- 
diction within the States. 

"I now inquire how far this juiisdiction has 
been extended. The Thirteenth Amendment 
provides that slavery shall never exist within the 
United States, or any place subject to their juris- 
diction, and Congress is empowered to enforce 
this provision on every inch of soil covered by 
our flag. Congiess may, by its legislation, pre- 
vent any person from b,eing made a slave by any 
law, usage, or custom, or by any act, direct or in- 
direct. This, I presume, will not be denied ; and 
Congress has effectually cai'ried out this provision. 

"In the Fifteenth Amendment, th^ last of the 
three, the rights of citizens of the United States 
to vote shall not be denied or abiidged, either by 
the United States or by any State, inconsequence 
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; 
and that, taken in connection with the clause in 
the main text of the Constitution, which author- 
izes Congress to regulate the time, place, and 
manner of holding elections, arms Congress with 
the full power to protect the ballot-box at all 
elections, at leasf of officers of the United States,' 
and to protect the right of all men vvithin (he. 
limit of that clause to the suffrage. On this 
point, I presiitne, there will be no difference of 
opinion — at least on this side of the House. In 
pursua,nce of this power, we passed the act of 
May 31st, 1870, and the amendatory act of Feb- 
ruary 28th, 1 871. 


"I now come to consider last in order, for it 
is the basis of the pending bill, the Fourteent'h 
Amendment. I ask the attention of the House 
to the first section of that amendment, as to its 
scope and meaning. I hope gentlemen will bear 
in mind that this debate, in which so many have 
taken part, will become historical, as the earliest 
legislative construction given to this clause of the 
amendment. Not only the words which we put 
into the law, but what shall be said here in the 
way of defining and interpreting the meaning of 
the clause, may go far to settle its interpretation 
and its value to the country hereafter. 

"For the protection of all officers of the United 
States in the discharge of their duties, aiid for the 
enforcement of all the laws of the United States, 
our statutes make ample provisions. The Pres- 
ident is empowered to use all the land and naval 
forces, if neeessary, to exectite these laws against 
all offenders. 

"But, sir, the President has informed us in 
his recent Message that in some portions of the 
Republic wiongs and outrages are now being per- 
petrated, under circumstances which lead him to 
doubt his power to suppress them by means of 
existing laws. That new situation confronts us. 
I deeply regret that we were not able to explore 
the length, breadth, and depth of this new dan- 
ger before we undertook to provide a legislative 
remedy. The subject is so obscured by passion 
that it is hardly possible for Congress, with the 
materials now in our possession, to know the 
truth of the case, to uiiderstand fully the causes 
of this new trouble, and to provide wisely and 
intelligently the safest and most certain remedy. 

"Bii,t enough is known to demand some ac- 
tion on our part. "To state the case in the most 
moderate terms, it appears that in some of the 
Southern States there exists a wide-spread secret 
organization, whose members are bound togeth- 
er by solemn oaths to prevent certain classes of 
citizens of the United States from enjoyjng these 
new rights conferred upon them by the Constitu- 
tion and laws ; that they are putting into execu- 
tion their design of preventing such citizens from 
enjoying the free right of the ballot-box and oth- 
er privileges and immunities of citizens, and from 
enjoying the equal protection of the laws. Mr. 

Speaker, I have no doubt of the power of Con- 
gress to provide for meeting this new danger, 
%nd to do so wicliout trenching upon those great 
and benelicent powers of local self-government 
lodged in the States and with the people. To 
reach this result is the demand of the honr upon 
the statesmnnsliip of *his country. This brings 
roe to the consideration of the pending bill. 


"The first section provides, in snbstance, that 
any pei-^on who, under color of any State law, 
ordinance, or custom, shall deprive any person 
of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured 
by the Constitution, the offender shall bQ liable 
to a^ action at law, or other proper proceeding, 
for redress in tlie several district or circuit courts 
of the United States. This is a wise and salu- 
tary provision, and plainly within the power of 

''But the chief complaint is not that the laws 
of the State are une(|nal, but that even where the 
laws are just and equal on th^ir t^tce, yet, by a 
systematic maliidininistration of them, or a neg- 
lect or refusal to enforce their provisions, a por- 
tion of the people are denied equal protciction 
under them. Whenever such a state of facts is 
clearly made out, I believe the l)\st clause of the 
first section empowers Congi-ess to step in and 
provide for doing jnstiee to those persons who 
are thus denied eqnal protection. 

"Now if the second section of the pending 
bill can be so amended that it shall clearly de- 
fine this offence, as I have described it, and shall 
employ no terms wliicli assert the power of Con- 
gress to take jurisdiction of the sufiyect until such 
denial be clearly made, and shall not in any way 
assume the original jurisdiction of the rights of 
private persons and of property within the States 
— with these conditions clearly expressed in the 
section, I shall give it my hejirty support. These 
limitations will not impair the efficiency of the 
section, but will remove the serions objections 
that are entertained by many gentlemen to the 
section as it now stimds. 


" But, Mr. Speaker, there is one provision in 
the fourth section which appairs to me both un- 
wise and unnecessary. It is proposed not only 
to authorize the suspension of the privileges of 
the writ of habetis corpus, but to authorize the 
declaration of martial law in the disturbed dis- 

"I do not deny, but I alBrm the right of Con- 
gress to authorize the suspension of the privileges 
of the writ of Aa6e(MC0J7)tis whenever in cases of 
rebellion or invasion the public safety may re- 
quire it. Such action has been and may again 
be necessary to the safety of the Republic : but 
I call the attention of the House to the fact that 
never but once in the history of this Government 
has Congress snspended the great privileges of 
this writ, and then it was not done until afler 
two years of war had closed all the ordinary tri- 
bunals of justice in the rebellious districts, and 
the great armies of the Union, extending from 
Maryland to the Mexioxn line, were engaged in 
a death struggle with the armies of the Bebell'on. 
It was not until the third day of Mareh, 1863, 
that the Congress of the United States found the 
situation so full of peril as to make it their duty 
to suspend this greatest privilege enjoyed by An- 
glo-Saxon people. Are we ready to say that an 
eqnal peril confronts us to-day ? 

"My objection to authorizing this suspenaon 
implies no disf'ust of the wisdom or ps^triotism 
of the President. I do not believe he would em- 
ploy this power were we to confer it upon him ; 
and if he did employ it, I do not donbt he would 
use it with justice and wisdom. But what we 
do on this occasion will be quoted as a precedent 
hereafter, when other men with other purposes 
may desire to confer this power on another Pres- 
ident for purposes that may not aid in securing 
public liberty and public peace. 

"But this section provides no safeguard for 
titizens who mav be aiTested during the susiien- 
sion of the writi There is no limit to the time 


during which men may be held as prisoners. 
Nothing in the section requires them to be de- 
livered over to the courts. Nothing in it gives 
them any other protection than the will of the 
commander who orders their arrest 

" But, sir, this fourth section goes a himdred 
bow-shots farther than any similar legislation of 
Congress during the wildest days of the Rebel- 
lion. It authorizes the declaration of maitial 
law. We are called upon to provide by law for 
the suspension of all law! Do gentlemen re- 
member what martial law is ? Refer to the di- 
gest of opinions of tne Judge Advocate General 
of the United States, and you will find a teree 
definition which gleams like the flash of a sword- 
blade. The Judge Advocate says: ' Martial law 
is the will of the general who commands the 
army.' And Congress is here asked to declare 
martial law. Why, sir, it is the pride and boast 
of England that martial law has not existed iti 
that country since the Petition of Right in the 
thirty-fii-st year of (Charles II. Three years ago 
the Lord Chief-justice of England came down 
from the high court over which he was pi-esiding 
to revie\y the charge of another judge to a grand- 
jury, and he there announced that the power to 
declare martial law no longer existed in England. 
In 1867, the same jiulge, in the case of The 
Queen vs. Nelson, uttered this sentence : ' There 
is no such law in existence as martial law, and 
no power in the Crown to proclaim it.'" 


" How can these new guarantees be enforced ? 
In the first place, it is within the power of Con- 
gress to provide, by law, that cases arising under 
the provisions of these amendments may be car- 
ried up on appeal from the State tribunals to 
the courts of the United States, where every law, 
ordinance, usage, or decree of any State in con- 
flict with these provisions may be declared un- 
constitutional and void. This great remedy cov. 
ers nearly all the ground that needs to be cov- 
ered in time of peace ; and this ground .has al- 
ready been covered, to a great extent, by the 
legislation of Congress 

" In the second place, it is undoubtedly with- 
in the power of Congress to provide by law for 
the punishment of all pei-sons, official or private, 
who shall invade these rights, and who, by vio- 
lence, threats, or intimidation, shall deprive any 
citizen of their fullest enjoyment. This is a 
part of that general power vested in Congress to 
punish the violators of its laws. I cannot think 
that this House will, at this time, take such an 
extreme and unprecedented measure. 

" Sir, this provision meims war, or it means 
nothing ; and I ask this House whether we are 
now ready to take this step ? Shall we ' cry 
havoc, and let slip the dogs of war ?' 

" 1 have taken a humble part in one war, and 
I hope I shall always be ready to do any duty 
that the necessities of the country may require 
of me ; but I am not willing to talk war or to 
declare war in advance of the terrible necessity. 
Are there no measures within our reach which 
may aid in preventing war ? When a savage 
war lately threatened our Western, frontiers, we 
sent out commissioners of peace in the hope of 
avoiding war. Have we done all in our power 
to avoid that which this section contemplates ? 
I hope the committee will bring in a companion 
measure that looks toward peace, and enable us 
to send the olive-branch with tiie sword." 

In a speech on the taxation of United States 
Bpnds, General Garfield showed his familiar 
knowledge of English financial history. In the 
course of it he uses this language in regard to a 

"Nobodv expects that we can pay as fast as 
the debt matures, but we shall be compelled to 
go into the market and negotiate new loans. 
Let this system of taxation be pursued ; let an- 
other Congre-ss put the tax at twenty per cent., 
another at forty per cent., and another at fifty 
per cent, or one hundred per cent. ; let the 
principle be once adopted — the rate is only a 
question of discretion — and where will yon be 


able to negotiate a loan except at the most ruin- 
ous sacrifice? Let such legislation prevail as 
the gentleman urges, and can we look anv man 
in the face and ask him to loan us money ? If 
we do not keep faith to-day, how can we expect 
to be trusted hereafter? I have said there are 
two methods of managing debt and taxation. 
One I have just been considering. The other 
is advocated, not by the gentleman from Mas- 
sachusetts, nor in the Democratic platform, but 
in the platform adopted at Chicago, in which it 
is declared that — 

" ' We denounce all forms of repudiation as 
national crime ; and the national bcmor requires 
the payment of the public indebtedness in the 
uttermost good faith to all creditors at home and 
abroad, not only according to the letter but the 
spirit of the laws under which it w^ contracted. 

" ' It is due to the labor of the natipn that ta](- 
ation should be equalized, and reduced as rapid- 
ly as the national faith will permit. 

" 'The national debt, contracted as it has been 
for the preservation of the Union, for all time to 
come, should be extended over a fair perio^ for 
redemption ; and it is the duty of Congress, to 
reduce the rate of interest thereon whenever it 
can be honestly done. 

" ' That the best policy to diminish our burden 
of debt is to so improve our credit that capital- 
ists will seek to loan us money at lower rates of 
interest thaii we now pa}', and must continue to 
pay so long as repudiation, partial or total, open 
or covert, is threatened or suspected.' 

"I quote these declarations with feelings of 
pride and satisfaction. I am proud of that great 
party which, having saved the life of the nation 
by its valor, now declares its unalterable purpose 
to save, by its truth and devotion, wliat is still 
more precious, the fiiith and honor of the nation. 

"There was a declaration made by an old 
English gentleman in the days of Charles H. 
which does honor to human nature. He said 
he was willing at any time to give his life for the 
good of his country ; but he would not do a 
mean thing to save his country from ruin. So, 
sir, ought a citizen to feel in regard to our finan- 
cial afKiirs. The people of the United States 
can afibrd to make any sacrifice for their coun- 
try, and the history of the last war has proved 
their willingne.<« ; but the hnmblest citizen can- 
not afibrd to do a mean or dishonorable thing to 
save even this glorious Republic." 


The House having under consideration the bill 
(H. R. No. 1.572) entitled "An act to amend th» 
several act* providing a national currency, and to- 
establish free banking, and for other purposes," 
Mr. Garfield said (April 8th, 1874_) : 

" Let me call attention to a few features of the 
bill now before the House. Its fii-st section 
abolishes all the reserves by which our states- 
men have hitherto protected the circulation of 
banks, and kept them in readiness to redeem 
their notes. This great safeguai'd is to be 
thrown away. The ballast is to be tossed from 
the boat of the balloon — the cables are to be cut 
which held it to the earth. But the section will 
operate unequally and nignsdy. For example, it 
requires five and a half millions less of reserve to 
be held by the banks of New York, and five and a 
half millions more by the banks of Baston, than 
is now required by law. Inflation in New York 
— contraction in Boston. 

"Section 5 works a revolution in the system 
of bank balances. It requires five per cent, of 
the circulation of every national bank to be kept 
in New York and Washington, This takes twen- 
ty millions of greenbacks away from the sixteen 
redemption cities of the United States, and places 
them in Wsishington and New York, for the pur- 
pose of making the officers ofthe Treasury assort 
and redeem the mutilated currency ofthe banks, 
and issue new notes in their place. 

"By the third section forty- four millions are 
added to the greenback circulation. By this we 
are to all we have gained in the way of re- 
deeming the promise ofthe nation to pay its long 
overdue paper. This is a permanent postpone- 
ment of specie payments ; it hopelessly cripples 
the machinery by which that result is to be reach- 



od. To this is added an unlimited increase of 
national banlc-notea. 

"By this measure we invite two dangers. 
With one hand we throw overboard the ballast ; 
with the other we spread the sails, and thus com- 
mit the ship of our public credit 

" ' To the god of storms, 
The lightning aud the gale.' 

"I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the proposition 
before us is fraught with measnreless mischief 
If you will authorize free banking coupled with 
some wise restriction — something that will lead 
us slowly but surely toward specie payments ; if 
we can reach the two great results — specie pay- 
ments and free banking — we shall preserve the 
quality of our currency, and shall leave its quan- 
tity to be regulated by the demands of trade. 
There never did exist on this earth a body of 
men wise enough to determine by any arbitrary 
rule how much currency is needed for the busi- 
ness of a gieat country. The laws of trade, the 
laws of credit, the laws of God impressed upon 
the elements of this world, are superior to all leg- 
islation ; and we can enjoy the benefits of these 
immutable laws only by obeying them. 

"I desire, Mr. Spealser, that all the real wants 
of the. Great West and of the whole country shall 
be fully supplied, but let them be supplied by that 
which is reality, and not by broken and dishon- 
ored promises. Let us not offer to people of this 
country the apples of Sodom, that shall turn to 
ashes on their lips. 

"I believe, sir, that, if this legislation prevails, 
the day is not far distant when the cry will come 
up from those who labor in humblest fields of in- 
dustry, denouncing those who have let loose upon 
them the evils enveloped in this bill. . It has been 
demonstrated again and again that upon the arti- 
sans, the farmers, the day-laborers falls at last 
the dead weight of all the depreciation and loss 
that irredeemable paper-money carries in its train. 
Let this policy be carried out, and the day will 
surely and speedily come when the nation will 
clearly trace the cause of its disaster to those who 
deluded themselves and the people with what Jef- 
ferson fitly called 'legerdemain tricks of paper- 

From a speech delivered in the House, June 
22d, 1874, we extract some remarks of General 
Garfield's on 


"We are so involved in the events and move- 
ments of society that we do not stop to realize — 
what is undeniably true — that during the last 
forty years all modern societies have entered 
upon a period of change, more marked, more 
pervading, more radical than any that has oc- 
curred during the last three hundred years. In 
saying this I do not forget our own political and 
military history, nor the French Revolution of 
17^3. The changes now taking place have 
been wrought, and are being wrought, mainly, al- 
mqst wholly, by a single mechanical contrivance, 
the steam locomotive. Imagine, if you can, 
what would happen if to -morrow morning the 
railway locomotive, and its corollary, the tele- 
graph, were blotted from the earth. At first 
thought It would seem impossible to get on at 
all with the feeble substitutes we should be com- 
pelled to adopt in place of these great forces. 
To what humble proportions mankind would be 
compelled to scale down the great enterprises 
they are now pushing forward with such ease ! 
But were this calamity to happen, we should 
siinply be placed where we were forty-three years 

"There are many persons now living who well 
riiniember the day when Andrew Jackson, after 
foiir weeks of toilsome travel from his home in 
Tennessee, reached Washington and took his 
first oath of oCSce as President of the United 
States. On that day the railway locomotive did 
not exist. During that year Henry Clay was 
struggling to make his name immortal by link- 
ing it with the then vast project of building a 
national road — a turnpike — from the national 
capital to the banks of the Mississippi. 

" In the autumn of that very year George Ste- 
phenson ran his first experimental locomotive, 

the 'Rocket,' from Manchester to Liverpool and 
hack. The I'umble of its wheels, redoubled a 
million times, is echoing to-day on eVery conti- 

"In 1870 there were about l'J5,000 miles of 
railroad on the two hemispheres, constructed at 
a cost of little less than $100,000 per mile, and 
representing nearly $12,000,000,000 of invested 

"A parliamentary commission found that dur- 
ing the year 1866 the railway cars of Great Brit- 
ain carried an average of 8.50,000 passengers per 
day; and during that year the work done by 
their 8125 locomotives would have required for 
its performance three and a half million horses 
and nearly two million men. 

" What have our people done for the locomo- 
tive, and what has it done for us ? To the 
United States, with its vast territorial areas, the 
railroad was a vital necessity. 

"Talleyrand once said to the first Napoleon 
that 'the United States was a giant without 
bones.' Since that time our gristle has been 
rapidly hardening. Sixty-seven thousand miles 
of iron track is a tolerable skeleton, even for a 
giant. When this new power appeared, our peo- 
ple everywhere felt the neces.sity of setting it to 
work ; and individuals, cities. States, and the na- 
tion lavished their resources without stint to 
make a pathway for it. Fortunes were sunk un- 
der almost every mile of our earlier roads in the 
effort to capture and utilize this new power. If 
the State did not head the subscription for a new 
road, it usually came to the rescue before the 
work was completed. 

"The lands given by the States and by the 
national Government to aid in the construction 
of railroads reach an aggregate of nearly two 
hundred and fifty million acres — a territory 
equal to nine times the area of Ohio. With these 
vast resources we have made paths for the steam 
giant; and to-day nearly a quarter of a million 
of our business and working men are in his im- 
mediate service. Such a power naturally at- 
tracts to its enterprise the brightest and strong- 
est intellects. It would be difficult to find in any 
other profession so large a proportion of men pos- 
sessed of a high order of business ability as those 
who construct, manage, and operate our railroads. 

"The American people have done much for 
the locomotive ; and it has done much for them. 
We have already seen that it has greatly reduced, 
if not wholly destroyed, the danger that the Gov- 
ernment will fall to pieces by its own weight. 
The i-ailroad has not only brought our people 
and their industries together, but it has carried 
civilization into the wilderness, has built up States 
and Territories, which but for its power would 
have remained deserts for a centuiy to come. 
' Abroad and at home,' as Mr. Adams tersely 
declares, ' it has equally nationalized people and 
cosmopolized nations.' It has played a most 
important part in the recent movement for the 
unification and preservation of nations. 

"It enabled us to do what the old military 
science had pronounced impossible — to conquer a 
revolted population of eleven millions, occupying 
a territory one-fifth as large as the continent of 
Europe. In an able essay on the railway sys- 
tem, Mr. Charles F. Adams, Jr., has pointed out 
some of the remarkable achievements of the rail- 
road in our recent history. For example, a sin- 
gle railroad track enabled Sherman to maintain 
eighty thousand fighting men three hundred 
miles beyond his base of supplies. Another 
line, in a space of seven days, brought a re-en- 
forcement of two fully equipped army corps 
around a circuit of thirteen hundred miles, to 
strengthen an army at a threatened point. He 
calls attention to the still more striking fact that 
for ten years past, with fifteen hundred millions 
of our indebtedness abroad, an enormous debt at 
home, unparalleled public expenditures, and a 
depreciated paper currency, in defiance of all 
past experience, we have been steadily conquer- 
ing our difficulties, have escaped the predicted 
collapse, and are promptly meeting our engage- 
ments; because, through energetic railroad de- 
velopment, the country has been producing real 
wealth, as no country has produced it before. 
Finally, he sums up the case by declaring that 

the locomotive has ' dragged the country through 
its difficulties in spite of itself ' 

" In discussing this theme we mast not make 
an indiscriminate attack upon corpoi'ations. The 
corporation limited to its proper uses is one of 
the most valuable of the many useful creations 
of law. One class of corporations has played a 
most important and conspicuous part in securing 
the liberties of mankind. It was the- municipal 
corporations — the free cities and chartered towns 
— that preserved and developed the spirit of free- 
dom during the darkness of the Middle Ages, 
and powerfully aided in the overthrow of the 
feudal system. The charters of London and of 
the lesser cities and towns of England made the 
most effective resistance to the tyranny of Charles 
II. and the judicial savagery of Jeffries. The 
spirit of the free town and the chartered colony 
taught our own fathers how to win their inde- 
pendence. The New England township was the 
political unit which formed the basis of most of 
our States. 

"This class of corporations have been most 
useful, and almost always safe, because they have 
been kept constantly within the control of the 
community for whose benefit they were created. 
The State has never surrendered the power of 
amending their charters. 

"Under the name of private corporations or- 
ganizations have grown up, not for the pei'petu- 
ation of great charity, like a college or hospital, 
not to enable a company of citizens more con- 
veniently to cany on a private industry, but a 
class of corporations unknown to the early law 
writers has arisen, and to them have been com- 
mitted the vast-powers of the railroad and the tel- 
egraph, the great instruments by which modern 
communities live, move, and have their being. 

"Since the dawn of history the great thor- 
oughfares have belonged to the people, have been 
known as the king's highways or the public high- 
ways, and have been oi)en to the free use of all, 
on payment of a small uniform tax or toll to keep 
them in repair. But now the most perfect and 
by far the most important roads known to man- 
kind are owned and managed as private property^ 
by a comparatively small number of private citi- 

" In all its uses the railroad is the most public 
of all our roads ; and in all the objects to which 
its work relates, the railway coi-poration is as pub- 
lic as any organization can be. But in the start 
it was labelled a private corporation ; and, so far 
as its legal status is concerned, it is now grouped 
with eleemosynary institutions and private char- 
ities, and enjoys similar immunities and exemp- 
tions. It remains to be seen how long the com- 
munity will suffer itself to be the victim of an 
abstract definition. 

" It will be readily conceded that a corporation 
is strictly and really private when it is authorized 
to carry on such a business as a private citizen 
may carry on. But when the State has delegated 
to a corporation the sovereign right of eminent 
domain, the right to take from the private citizen, 
without his consent, «. portion of his real estate, 
to build its structure across farm, garden, and 
lawn, into and through, over or under, the blocks, 
squares, streets, churches, and dwellings of incor- 
porated cities and towns, across navigable rivers, 
and over and along public highways, it requires a 
stretch of the common imagination and much re- 
finement and subtlety of the law to maintain the 
old fiction that such an organization is not a pub- 
lic corporation 

"In view of the facts already set forth,. the 
question returns, what is likely to be the effect 
of railway and other similar combinations upon 
our community and our political institutions ? Is 
it true, as asserted by the British writer quoted 
above, that the State must soon recapture and 
control the railroads, or be captured and subju- 
gate by them ? Or do the phenomena we are 
witnessing indicate that general breaking-up of 
the social and political order of modern nations 
so confidently predicted by a class of philosophers 
whose opinions have hitherto made but little im- 
pression on the public mind ? The analogy 

between the industrial conditiqn of society at the 
present time and the feudalism of the Middle 
Ages is both striking and instructive. 



"In the darkness and chaos of that period the 
feudal system was the firsr. important step toward 
the orgnnizaiion of modern nntinns. Powerful 
chiefs and barons intrenched tliemselves in cas- 
tles, and in return for submission and service gave 
to their vassals rude protection and radar laws. 
But as the feudal chiet^ grew in power and wenlth, 
they became the oppressors of their people, taxed 
and robbed them at will, and finally, in their ar- 
rogance, defied the kings and emperors of the 
Mediaeval States. From their castles, planted on 
the great thorough Rires, they practised the most 
capricious extortions on comniurce and travel, 
and thus gave to modern language the phrase, 
'levy black-mail.* 

"The consolidation of our great industrial and 
commercial companies, the power they wield, and 
the relations they sustain to the State and to the 
industry of the people, do not fall far short of 
Fourier's definition of commercial or industrial 
feudalism. The modern barons, more powerful 
than their military prototypes, own our greatest 
highways, and levy tribute at will upon all our 
vast industries. And, as the old feudalism was 
finally controlled and subordinated only by the 
combined efforts of the kings and the people of 
the free cities and towns, so our modern feudal- 
ism can be subordinated to the public good only 
by the great body of the people, acting through 
their goveniments by wise and just laws. 

"I shall not now enter upon the discussion of 
methods by which this great work of adjustment 
may be accomplished. But I refuse to believe 
that the genius and energy which have developed 
these new and tremendous tVn-ces will fail to make 
them not the masters but the fiiithful servants of 
society. It will bo a disgrace to onr age and to 
us if we do not discover some method by which 
the pablic functions of these orgauiwitions may 
be brought into full subordination to the public, 
and that too without violence, and without unjust 
interfei-ence with the rights of private individuals. 
It will be unworthy of our age. and of us, if we 
make the discussion of this subject a mere war- 
fare men. For in these greiit industrial 
enterprises have been and still are engaged some 
of the noblest and worthiest men of our time. 
It is the system — its tendencies and its dangers 
— which society itself has produced, that we are 
now to confront.. And these industries must not 
be crippled, bat promoted. The evils complained 
of are mainly of our own making. States and 
communities have willingly and thonghtJessly 
conferred these great powers upon railways ; and 
they mast seek to rectify their own errors with- 
out injury to the industiies they have encour- 

' ' Already methods are being suggested. Mas- 
sachusetts has been discussing the proposal to pur- 
chase and operate a portion of her railroad sys- 
tem, and thus bring the rest into competition with 
the State, as the representative of the people. And 
it is claimed that the success of this plan has been 
proved by the expeiience of Belgium. 

' ' Another proposition is that the State parehase 
the roads and open them, like other highways, to 
the free use of the public, subject to such regula- 
tions and toll as the safety of transportation and 
the maintenance of the system may require. This, 
it is claimed, would remove the stocks and bonds 
from the gambling operations of the markets, and 
(jaca the levying of the transportation tax in the 
hands of the'State and under the control of those 
who pay. 

" Others, again, insist that the system has over- 
grown the limits and the powers of the separate 
States, and must be taken in hand by the National 
Governmeitt under that provision of the Consti- 
tution which empowers Congress 'to regulate 
commerce among the several States.' When it 
is objected that this would be a great and danger- 
ous step toward politiaU centralization — which 
many think ha.s already been pushed too far— it 
is r^ponded that, as the railway is the greatest 
centralizing force of modern time-s nothing but a 
kindi^ force can control it, and it is better to 
rule it than to be niled by it. Other solutions 
have been proposed, but these are sufiBcient to 
show how strongly the current of public thought 
is setting toward the subject. Indications ai-e 
not wanting that the discussion wUl be attended 

by passion, and by a full exhibition of that low 
political I'unuing whicli plays with the passions 
and prejudices of men, and measures success by 
results, and not by the character of the means 
employed. 1 have ventured to criticise the ju- 
dicial application of the Dartmouth College case ; 
and I venture the further opinion that some feat- 
ures of that decision, as applied to the railway 
and similar corporations, must give way under the 
new elements which time has added to the prob- 
lem. But this must be done not by denouncing 
judges who fjiithfully administer tlie law, but by 
such prudent changes in the law, and perhaps in 
our constitutions, as will guide the courts in fut- 
ure adjudications. 

"It depends upon the wisdom, the culture, the 
self-control of our people and their representatives 
to determine how wisely and how well this ques- 
tion shall be settled. But that it will be solved, 
and solved in the interest of liberty and justice, 
I do not doubt. And it« solution will open the 
way to a solution of a whole chapter of similar 
questions that relate to the conflict between cap- 
ital and labor." 

In a speech on the report of the Rksdmption 
Law he spoke as follows, November 16th, 1877: 

" I now proceed to notice the second point that 
has been made in favor of this bill. It is assumed 
that specie payment will injure the debtor class 
of this couiitiy. and thereby oppi-ess the poor ; 
in other words, that the enforcement of the Re- 
sumption law will oppress the poor and 
the riches of the rich. It is assumed that the 
laboring men are in debt, and that the rich men 
constitute the ci-editor class. I deny this propo- 
sition tn toto. I affirm that the vast majority of 
the creditore of tliis country are the poor people ; 
that the vast majority of the debtors of this coun- 
try are the well-to-do-people, in fact, people who 
are moderately rich. 

"As a matter of fact, the poor man, the labor- 
ing man, cannot get heavily in debt. He has 
not the security to offeiv Men lend their money 
on security '; and, in the very nature of the case, 
poor men can borrow hut little. What, then, do 
poor men do with their small earnings ? When 
a man has earned, out of his hard work, a hun- 
dred dollars more than he needs for current ex- 
penses, he reasons thus : " I cannot go into busi- 
ness with a hundred dollars ; I cannot embark 
in trade; but, as I work, I want my money to 
work." And so he puts his small gains where 
they will earn someihing. He lends his money 
to a wealthier neighbor, or puts it into a savings- 
bank. There were in the United States, on the 
1st of November, 1876, forty-four hundred and 
seventy-five savings-banks and private banks of 
deposits; and their deposits amounted to $1,377,- 
000,000, almost thi-ee-fourths the amonnt of our 
national debt. Over two and a half millions of the 
citizens of the United States were depositors. 
In some States the deposits did not average more 
than $250 each. ^ The great mass of the deposi- 
tors are men and women of small means — ^labor- 
ers, widows, and orphans. They are the lenders 
of this enormous aggregate. The savings-banks, 
as their agents, lend it to whom ? Not to the la- 
boring poor, but to bu.siness men who wish to en- 
large their business beyond their capital. Spec- 
ulators sometimes borrow it. But in the main, 
well-to-do business men borrow these hoardings. 
Thus the poor lend tn the rich. 

"Gentlemen assail the bond -holders of the 
country as the rich men who oppress the poor. 
Do they know how vast an amount of the pnblic 
securities are held by poor people? I took oc- 
casion, a few years since, to ask the officers of a 
bank in one of the counties of my district — a ru- 
ral district — to show me the number of holders 
and amounts held of United States bonds on 
which they collected the interest The total 
amonnt was $416,000. And how many people 
held them ? One hundred and ninety-six. Of 
these, jnst eight men held from $15,000 to 
.$20,000 each ; the other one hundred and eighty- 
eight ranged from $!>0 up to $2500. I found in 
that list fifteen orphan children and sixty widows, 
who had a little left them from their fathers' or 
husbands' estate-s. and had made the nation their 
guardian. And I fiuind one hundred and twen- 
ty-one laborers, mechanics, ministers, men ^of 

slender means, who had saved their earnings and 
put them in the bauds of the United States that 
they might he safe. And they were the ' bloated 
bond-holders ' against whom so much eloquence 
is fulminated in tliis House. 

"There is another way in which poor men 
dispose of their money. A man says. I can keep 
my wife and babies from starving while I live 
and have my health ; but if I die they may be 
compelled to go over the hill to the pour-house; 
and, agonized by that thought, he saves of his 
hard earnings enough to take oat and keep alive 
a small life-insurance policy, so that, if he dies, 
there may be something left, provided the insur- 
ance company to which he intrusts his money is 
honest enough to keep its pledges. And how 
many men do you think have done that in the 
United States? I do not know the number for 
the whole country ; but I do know this, that 
from a late report of the insurance commission- 
ers of the State of New York, it appeai-s that 
the companies doing business in that State had 
774,625 policies in force, and the face value of 
these policies was $1,922,000,000. I find, by 
looking over the returns, that in my State there 
are 55,000 policies outstanding ; in Pennsylva- 
nia, 74,000 ; in Maine, 1 7,000 ; in Maryland, 
25,000 ; and in the State of New York, 160,000. 
There are, of coui-se, some rich men insured in 
these companies ; but the majority are poor peo- 
ple ; for the policies do not average more than 
$2200 each. What is done with the assets of 
these companies, which amounts to $455,000,- 
000. They are loaned out. Here, again, the 
creditor .class is the poor, and the insurance 
conxjianies are the agents of the poor to lend the 
money for them. It would be dishonorable for 
Congress to legislate either for the debtor class 
or for the creditor class alone. We ought to 
legislate for the whole country. But when gen- 
tlemen attempt to manufacture sentiment against 
the Resumption Act, by saying it will help the 
rich and hurt the poor, they are overwhelmingly 
answered by the facts. 

" Suppose you undo the work that Congress 
has attempted — to resume specie payment — what 
will result ? You will denreciate the value of the 
greenback. Suppose it fells ten cents on the dol- 
lar. You will have destroyed ten per cent, of the 
value of every deposit in the savings-banks, ten 
per cent, of every life-insurance policy and fire- 
insurance policy, of every pension to the soldier, 
and of every day's wages of every laborer in the 

"In the census of 1870 it was estimated that 
on any given day there were $120,000,000 due to 
the laborers for their unpaid wages. That is a 
small estimate. Let the greenback dollar come 
down ten per cent., and yon take $12,000,000 
from the men who have already earned it In 
the name of every interest connected with the 
poor man, I denounce this effort to prevent re- 
sumption. Daniel Webster never uttered a 
greater truth in finance than when he said that 
of all contrivances to cheat the laboring-classes 
of mankind, none was so effective as that which 
deluded them with irredeemable paper-money. 
The rich can take care of themselves ; bat the 
dead weight of all the fluctuation and loss fells 
ultimately on the poor man who has only his 
day's work to sell 

" I do not undervalne the greenback or its 
great services to the conntiy ; but when the gen- 
Ueman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Kelley] spoke of 
the greenback as being the thing that put down 
the Rebellion, I thought if I had been on the oth- 
er side I would have said, ' We had a much more 
liberal snpply of paper-money than you had ; why 
did it not put you down? [Laughter.]] Oar 
money was better than yours in one respect, for 
ours set a day of resumption, which was six 
months after the independence of the Confeder- 
ate States shonid be arltnowledged.' [Langh- 
ter.] I think, sir, that those gentlemen who are 
femiliar with the financial history of the Confed- 
eracy would not join the gentleman in his eulogy 
on paper currency which is cut loose from the 
coin standard. 

"Our country needs not only a national, but 
an international currency. Let me state a feet 
of vast importance in ttus discnssion. The for- 



eigii trade of this conntry-^ts exports artd iwi- 
ptortS— amounts to $1,500,000,000 in vAlde ; arid 
every dollar of that trade must be tria,nsacted in 
coin. We cannot help ourselves. Every article 
of export «:e send abroad is measured by and 
sold for coin. Every article of import we must 
pay for in coin. We must translate these coin 
prices into our currency ; and every fluctuation 
in the value of the greenback falls upon us, and 
not upon the countries wi^h which we ti'ade. 
Therefore, the commercial interests of America 
demand that the internatiorial and national value 
of money shall be one; so that what is a dollar 
in Ohio shall be a dollir the world over. Our 
money must be international as wfell as tiationftli 
unless we wish to isolate this country find have 
no trade or commerce', or glOry on the sea. 

"The trouble with our greienback dollar is 
this : it has two distinct funeti6n'S — one a pur- 
chasing power and the other a debt-paying pow- 
el". As a debt-paying power it is equal to one 
hundred cents — that is, to pay an old private 
dfebt. A greenback dollar Will by law dischai%e 
one hundred cents 6f dfebt. But no law cati 
give it purchasing power in the general markets 
of the world, unless it represents a known stand- 
ard w coin valud Now, what we want it that 
tW^e two qualities of our grfeenbafek dollar shall 
be made — its debt-paying power and its 
geneval purchasing power. When these are 
equEll, the problem of our currency is Solved, 
arid not till then. 

" This is the era of pacification. We believe 
ift the pacification <Jf the country ; that is, we 
seek to pass out of the storm-centre of war that 
raged over this country So long, ilnd enter .the 
calAi Circle of pBace. We betievein the equality 
of States, and the equality of citizens before the 
law. In these we have made great progress. 
Let us take rine step farther. Let us have 
equality of dollars before the law, so (hat the 
trinity of our political creed shall be equal StaiteS, 
equal men, and equal dollars tliloughout the 
Union. When these three are realized we shall 
have achieved the eoftiplete pacification of our 

''We are bound for thrie greit reasons to 
maintain the resuni'ptioii of specie payments : 
First, because the sanction of the public faith re- 
quires it; second, the material prosper- 
ity bf the country demands it ; and, third, be- 
cause our future prosperity demands that a'gita- 
tion shall cease, and that the country shall find a 
safe and permanent basis for financial peace. 

"The conditions ai'6 now all in our favor. 
The Secretary of the Treasury tells Us in his re- 
port, laid upon our taible this morning, that he 
has $66,000,000 of gold coin, unpledged for any 
ot'her purpose, waiting as a reserve for the day 
of resumption. He is adding to that stock at 
the rate of $5,000,000 a month. Our surplus 
revenue of $35,000,000 a year, all will be added 
to this reserve. Foreigrt exchange is now in our 
favor. We are selling to other nations almost 
$200,000,000 a year more than we are buying. 
AH liheSe elements are with us. Our harvests 
are more bountiful than ever before. The nation 
is on the returaing wave Of proSpferitJ-. Every- 
whei'e business is reviving, and thSre is no dan- 
ger esicept from the Congress of the United 
States. Here is the storm-centre'; here is the 
point of peril. If we can pass this peril, and 
not commit ourselves to the dangerous act now 
threatened, we shall soon see resurfaptioa com- 


"What ought to be the relation of the Nation- 
al Government to science ? Whatj if anything, 
ought we to do in the way of promoting science? 
For example, if we have the power, would it be 
wise for Congress to appropriate money out of 
the Treasury to employ naturalists to find out 
all that is to be known of our American birds? 
Ornithology is a delighlfid and useful study ; but 
woold it be wise for Congress to make an appro- 
priation for the advancement of that science ? In 
my judgment, manifestly not. We would thtere- 
by make one favored class of men the rivals of 
oil the ornitbologiEts who in their private Way, 

following the bent of their geninfe, may be work- 
ing out the results of science in that field. I 
have no doubt that kn appi'Opriation out of our 
Treasdry fbr that purpose would be a positive 
injury to the advancement of science, jUst a^ irt 
appropriation to establish a church woiild work 
injury to religion. 

"Generally the desire of our stientific men is 
tb be let alone to work in free competition with 
all the scientific men of the wbrld ; to develop 
their own results, and get the credit of them eaich 
for himself'; not t6 have the Government enter 
the lists as the rival ctf private enterprise._ 

" A's a general principle, therefore, the'ITnited 
States ought not to interfere in rnatter's of sci- 
ence, but should leave its development to the 
free, voluntary action of our great third estate, 
the people themselves. 

"Id this non-inteifetence theory of tbe Gov- 
ernment I do not g6 to the extent of saying thftt 
we should do nothing for educlition — foi- primary' 
edflc&tiori. That cotoes Under another consid- 
eration — the Viecessity of the nation to protect 
itself, and the consideration that it ife cheaper 
arid wiser to give eiduCation ihah to build jails. 
Biit I am speaking now of the higher scieriCeS. 

" To the general priheiple I have Stated, there 
are a few obvious exceiVtioris which should Vs 
clearly understood When we legislate on the sub- 
ject; Ih the first place the Government should 
aid all sorts df sciehtific inquiry that are neces- 
sary to thfe intelligent exercise of its own fuiic- 

"For examplei as we are atlthorizeid by the 
Constitution and dompelled by necessity to build 
and maintain light-houses on our coast and 'es- 
tablish fog-signals', we are bound to make all 
necessary scientific inquiries in reference to Tight 
and its laws, sound and its laws — to do whatever 
in the way of science is necessary to achieve the 
best results in lighting our coasts and warning 
our mariners of danger. So, when we are build- 
ing iron-clads f6r our navy or casting guns fOr 
our army, we ought to know all that is scientifi- 
cally possible to be kn6wn about the strength of 
materials and the laws of mechariics which ap- 
ply to such structures. In short, v^herever in 
exercising any of the necessary functions of the 
Government scientific inquiry is needed, let us 
make it, to the fullest extent, and at the public 

"There is another exception to the general 
rule of leaving science to the voluntary action of 
the people. Wherever any gieat popular inter- 
est, affectirig whole classes, pdSsibly all classes 
of the community, imperatively need scientific 
investigation, and privnte enterprise cannot ac- 
complish it, We may wisely intervene and help 
where the Constitution gives us authority. For 
example, in discovering the origin of yellow- feve/r 
and the methods of preventing its ravages, the 
nation should do, for the good of all, what nei- 
thev the States nor individuals can accomplish. 
I might perhaps include in a third exception 
thdse inquiries which, in consequence of their 
great magnitude and cost. Cannot be successful- 
ly Alftde by private individuals. Outside these 
thi'ee' claisses of inquiries, the Gb^ernment ought 
to 'keep ieb hands off', and leave scientific exper- 
iment rind inquiry to the free competition of 
those bright, intelligent men whose genius leads 
them into the fields of research. 

"And I suspect, when We read the report of 
our commissioner to the late Paris Exposition, 
which Shows Such astonishing resiilts, so credita- 
ble to our Country, so honorable to the genius of 
our people, it will be found, in any final analysis 
of causes, that the superiority of Americans in' 
that grekt Exposition resulted main'ly from- their 
superior freedom, and the greater competition be- 
tween mind and mind untrammelled by Govern- 
ment interference. I believe it will be found we 
are best Serving the cause of religion and sci- 
ence, and all those great primary rights which 
we did not delegate to the Congress or the States, 
but left the people free to enjoy and maintain 

"We have made the Gftvemment a formida- 
ble and crushing competitor- of private students 
of Science'; and I think we have in some cases 
gonp beyond the fair limit of what the Govern- 

ment ought to do in the way of scientific investi- 
gation. We have had the War Department, with 
tWo 6r ihiee Sfefikrate e?:p6dition4, exploiiiig oUr 
Westei'n territory. We have had tvvo separate 
organizations from t'he Interior Depirtrhe'nt alsb 
exploring ; arid it has all bee'rt dorie oh a system 
which has invited arid fostered a personal seek- 
ing of favor froni Congress. There havS been 
good men, intelligerit riiCri, scieritific meri, wli6 
have Sought fiir authbrity and aid to make sci- 
ehtific investigations in fields which private ciW- 
zens were exploring ; and in erriployirig so manjr 
separate and indeperiderit parties there hflvfe be'eh ' 
many Cas'e^, if not of Collision, at least of ovSi-- 
lapping and duplication in the same field 'Af^k- 
ariiiriaition. tt Seems to me it is high tiftie for 
us, first, to restrict bur scientific work plaiBiy 
aWd riiirrowly within the limits Of ihfe rules I 
have tried to lay down ; arid, second, to cbnsoli- 
date the sciehtific part of ouV work of iufvfey tin- 
der OriC resporiiible hfead ; aijd havirig doViTe thkt, 
with all the economy Which can be fairiy u^ed', 
let us make our oiillay Only in the direbt'ioh of 
public necessity. 

' ' Now, lest some brie should think I kiti kt- 
tacking the 'giebTogifeal sui-Veys, I haitfeft to Sajr 
that it is absolutely Vital tb an iritelligent dis- 
charge bf our di'ities as trustees, or rather as own- 
ers of 'the gi'eflt public doWain yet unsnrveyed 
q,nd unsold, to 'give to Our people all the light 
that science can shed upoh the character -and 
quality of thoije lands. 

"While I ftiay dbirbt the prb^priety of raakirig 
at once the whole change proposed in this bill, 
it is ^eiftetly Clear to my mind thkt we ti&ii' 
reached a riafurAl Crisis ih the niftnugement 'arid 
disposition of oui^ public domain. We have'rioW 
reached the foot-hills of the great Eocky Moiiri- 
tain Chain ; and the Old plans, the old method's, ' 
both bf survey and Of SettleimeHt, are in the nikin 
no longei- applicable. Of what possible rise baft 
it be to chbt'k'br-hoaid the slopes and the tops bf 
mouritairis that are full of ores with the old sys- 
tem of sections, half Sectibris, and Quarter Sec- 
tions ? 

"To say that the old pliri haS workefd vi^ell 
for it huhdrbd years is to priiise our past proper- ' 
ly ; biit to say that the same plan will work \v'ell 
for the next huridred yefirs is to say the match- 
locks, gun-fiints, the pontoons a«d other nanfi'i- 
leSs and obsolete implements of War that were ih 
vogue a hundred years ago will be good for a 
hundred years to Comb, and should not be abin- ' 
doned. We must not revolutionize merely fiir 
thfe sake of change, but We hiust *isely arid In- 
telligently adapt our policy to the pirci'gress bf 
events ; and I believe it has been clearly shb*h 
that if the old rectangular system is cori'tinu'ed it 
will be substantially worthless in its applicatfoli 
to most of orir tinsiirv'eye'd territory." , 

On the question whether NATiotiAL EL^fe 
TioNS should be protected by niitiohal au'thori^, 
he said : 

"There is another Jioirit which I must toubh 
to show the evasions which hive been resbrted 
tb in this debate. The other side Seeks to go 
before the country on Jileaslike this which standi 
as the heading of the speech of tlie distinguished 
geritlfeman fi'om Virginia [Mr. Tucker] : 'El'eo- 
tions by the people must be free fi'bin the poVer 
and presencfe of thb Standing army.' They sb^k 
to make the people believe that Deriiocrats In 
Cbrigress aW struggling to get the bavoriets 
away from the breasts of the voters, and that we 
are striving to kCep the army at the polls. The 
Deriiocratic Press is everywhere stating the is'srie 
in thife waj^, that the Republicans are defendfrig 
an odibus law, enacted amidst the passiortb of the 
war, to authorize the use bf the army 'at StMxk 

"^bW, ' mark how |)lain a tale shall put that 
down.' On this side this "prbpbSitidri was made: 
If you find fault with the law of 1865 we will 
help you repeal it altogether. On the motion 
of the distinguished gentleman frbm Michigan 
[Mr. Conger], every Republican ori this flobr 
who vbted at all, when the Army Bill was herfe, 
voted to repeal JB toto the law of 1865, which you 
complained of to the people as putting the bay- 
onets at the breasts of the ■voters ; and every 
Dembcrat who sits here and vbted at all, voted 

'No,' Yon would not repeal the law, but you 
told the people we were tiying to keep it on the 
statute-books, and jou were trying to get it off. 

" Now, Mr. Chairman, onr vote on that sub- 
ject has put us beyoud all cavil on this high and 
unassailable ground. We are willing and we 
have voted to repeal the whole of that law, and 
we even went so far as to put that repeal on the 
Array Bill, and you voted against it. Now, 
never again go to the people and say you tried 
to repeal the odious law of 1865, and the Uepub- 
Ucan.s would not let you. 

"My colleague [Mr. Ewing], who has just 
taken his seat, says that the sections sought to 
be repealed by the bill now before us authorize 
unwarrantable and unconstitutional interference 
with elections in the Sfates. He says that the 
supervisors and marshals are intrudei's at the 
election of Congressmen ; that they have no con- 
stitutional right to be there, even as witnesses. 
Grentlemen, I never believed in State rights to 
the extent yon did and do; but there is one 
thing concerning which I have always thought 
that the States came very near being sovereign. 
I suppose that all our States claim the right to 
have a legislature of two Houses, each House 
with a right to make its own rules, sit in its own 
separate chamber, pass measures accordirj^ to its 
own rules, and regulate the conduct of its own 
clerks. Yet, gentlemen, if you will read from 
Sections li to 19 of the Kerised Statutes, you 
will find that the following iias been done : The 
supreme power of the United States, by force of 
national law, has gone into the Legislature of ev- 
ery State in this Union, and said to them, ' There 
is a certain Tuesday, the second Tuesday after 
you have organized, when you shall not fix your 
own time of meeting ; when you shall not even 
adjourn over. You shall meet at twelve o'clock. 
When you meet, yon shall not vote by ballot ; you 
shall vote viva voce. Your clerk shall call the 
roll. You shall vote for a Senator.' The law 
prescribes how the clerks of both Houses shall 
make the entries in their journals. If there is 
no election, the clerk shall certify it ; and then 
this national authority says : ' If there is no elec- 
tion by the separate vote of the two Houses the 
second day, I take your two Houses and consoli- 
date them into one. I abolish the distinction 
between senator and representative, put them 
into one hall, and hold them in joint session 
from day to day, and they shall vote as one 
body nnm a Senator is^elected.' 

"Who dues tUl that to State Legislatures? 
It is done by a law of the United States passed 
in July, 186U ; and no Democrat has denounced 
it as unconstitutional ; no State Legislature has 
made any opposition to it ; and every one of the 
seventy-six Senators now at the other end of this 
Capitol holds his seat in pursuance of the oper- 
ation uf that law. 

"Now, if we do all that unchallenged to the 
Legislature of a sovereign State, who will say that 
we cannot go among our own citizens and super- 
vise and protect our own ballot-boxes where men 
are to be elected to seats on this floor? Your 
constitational question is given away when you 
admit the supervisions there, as you do in this 
bill ; still more decisively it is given away by the 
universal acquiescence in the law for electing 

" The gi-eat danger which threatens this conn- 
try is, that our sovereign may be dethroned or 
destroyed by corruption. In any monarchy of 
the world, if the sovereign be slain or become 
lanatic, it is easy to put another in his place, for 
the sovereign is a person. But our sovereign is 
the whole body of voters. If you kill or cor- 
rupt or render lunatic our sovereign, there is no 
Euccessor, no regent to take his place. The 
source of onr sovereign's supreme danger, the 
point where his life is vulnerable, is at the bal- 
lot-box, where his will is declared; and if we 
cannot stand by that cradle of our sovereign's 
heir-apparent and protect it to the uttermost 
against all assa-ssins and assailants, we have no 
goveinment and no safety for the future." 

The House having under consideration a bill 
to aathoriie the unlimited coinage of silver, and 


to give the profits thereof to the owners of bull- 
ion. May 17th, 1879— Mr. Garfield said : 

" Mr. Spkakkr, — We have probably never 
legislated on any question the influence of which 
reaches farther, both territorially and in time, 
and touches more interests, more vital interests, 
than are touched by this and similar bills. No 
man can doubt that within recent years, and 
notably within recent months, the leading think- 
ers of the civilized world have become alarmed 
at the attitude of the two precious metals in re- 
lation to each other ; and many leading thinkers 
are becoming clearly of the opinion that by some 
wise, judicious arrangement both the precious 
metals must be kept in service for the currency 
of the world. And this opinion has been very 
rapidly gaining ground within the last six months, 
to such an extent that England, which for more 
than half a century has stoutly adhered to the 
single gold standard, is now seriously meditating 
how she may harness both these metals to the 
monetary car of the world. And yet, outside 
of this Capitol, I do not this day know of a sin- 
gle great and recognized advocate of bi-metallic 
money who regards it prudent or safe for any 
nation largely to increase the coinage standard 
of silver coin at the present time beyond the lim- 
its fixed by existing laws. France and the states 
of the Latin Union, that have long believed in 
hi - metallism, maintained it against nil comers, 
and have done all in their power to advocate it 
throughout the world, dare not coin a single sil- 
ver coin, and have not done so since 1874. The 
most strenuous advocates of hi -metallism in 
those countries say it would be ruinous to bi- 
metallism for Fi-ance or the Latin Union to coin 
any more silver at present. The remaining 
stock of German silver now for sale, amounting 
to from forty to seventy-five millions of dollars, 
is a standing menace to the exchanges and silver 
coinage of Europe. One month ago the leading 
financial journal of London proposed that the 
Bank of England buy one-half of the German 
surplus and hold it five years on condition that 
the German Government shall hold the other 
half off the market. The time is ripe for some 
wise and prudent arrangement among the na- 
tions to save silver from a disastrous break- 

" Yet we, who during the past two years have 
coined far more silver dollars than we ever be- 
fore coined since the fonndation of the Govern- 
ment—ten times as many as we coined during 
half a century of our national life — are to-day 
ignoring and defying the enlightened, univei-sal 
opinion of bi-metallists, and saying that the Unit- 
ed States, single-handed and alone, cim enter 
the field and settle the mighty issue alone. We 
are justifying the old proverb that ' Fools rush 
in where angels fear to ti'ead.' 

"It is sheer madness, Mr. Speaker. I once 
S.1W a dog on a great stack of hay that had been 
floated out into the wild, ovei-flowed stream of a 
river, with its stack-pen and fonndation still hold- 
ing together, but ready to be wrecked. For a 
little while the animal appeared to be perfectly 
happy. His hay-stack was there, and the pen 
around it, and he seemed to think the world 
bright, and his happiness secure, while the sun- 
shine fell softly on his head and his hay. But 
by-and-by he began to discover that the house 
and the barn and their surroundings were not all 
there as they were when he went to sleep the 
night before ; and he began to see that he could 
not command all the prospect and peacefully 
dominate the scene as he had done before. So 
with this House. We assume to manage this 
mighty question which has been launched on the 
wild current that sweeps over the whole world, 
and we bark from our legislative hay-stacks as 
though we commanded the whole world. In the 
name of common-sense and sanity, let us take 
some accoimt of the flood; let us nndeivtand 
that a deluge means something, and try, if we 
can, to get our bearings before we undertake to 
settle the a6Fairs of all mankind by a vote of this 

"To-day we are coining one-third of all the 
silver that is being coined in the round world. 
China is coining another third; and all other 
nations are using the remaining one -third for 


subsidiary coin. And if we want to take rank 
with China and part company with all the civil- 
ized nations of the Western World, let us pass 
this bill, and then ' bay the moon ' as we float 
down the whirling channel to take our place 
among the silver monometallists of Asia. 

"What this country needs above all other 
things is that this Congress shall pass the ap- 
propriation bills, adjourn, and go home, and let 
the forces of business and good order and broth- 
erhood, working in their natural and orderly 
way, bring us into light and stability and peace. 
And we want time to adjust this great interna- 
tional question." 

We will close these extracts'With General Gar- 
field's able reply to Mr. Lamar, on the question, 


The House being in Committee of the Whole 
on the bill to transfer the conduct of Indian af- 
fairs from the Interior Department to the War 
Department, Mr. Garfield said : 

" Mr. Chairman, — I regret that the speech 
of the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Laihar] 
has not yet appeared in the Record, so that I 
might have had its fnll and authentic text before 
offering my own remarks in reply. But his prop- 
ositions were so clearly and so very ably stated, 
the doctrines that run through it were so logical- 
ly connected, it will be my own fault if I fail to 
undei'stand and appreciate the general scope and 
purpose of his speech. 

" In the outset, I desire for myself and for a 
majoiity, at least, of those for whom I speak, to 
express my gratitude to the gentleman for all 
that portion of his speech wliich had for its ob- 
ject the removal of the prejudices and unkindly 
feelings that have arisen among citizens of the 
Republic in consequence of the late war. What- 
ever faults the speech may have, its author ex- 
presses an earnest desire to make progress in the 
direction of a better understanding between the 
North and the South ; and in that it meets my 
most hearty concurrence and approval. 

"I will attempt to state briefly what I under- 
stand to be the logic of the gentleman's speech. 
He sets out with deploring the evils of party, and 
expressing the belief that the great mass of the 
American people are tired of much that belongs 
to party ; and, looking beyond and above mere 
parly prejudices and passions, they greatly de- 
sire to remove public corruptions, and reform the 
manifold errors and evils of administration and 
legislation ; that those errors and evils consist 
mainly of two things : First, of a generally cor- 
rupt state of public administration ; and, second, 
of a deplorable state of the civil service; that 
this state of aflairs is buttressed and maintained 
by an enormous army of one hundred thousand 
civil office-holders and one hundred thousand 
more expectants for office ; and that because of 
this vast force the people have hitherto been un- 
able to make the refbims they desire. This is 
his major premise. 

"The next point, his minor premise, is that 
the Republican party is incapable of effecting the 
great reforms which the people desire; and his 
conclusion from these premises is that the Dem:- 
ocratic party ought to be brought into power in 
the coming election. 

"This was the summary, and, I may say, 
abrupt, conclusion of bis rejisoning. The gen- 
tleinan seemed to be aware that there might he 
some apprehensions in the minds of the people 
that it would not, quite yet, be safe to recall the 
Democratic party to power; and he endeavored 
to qniet those apprehensions by stating, in the 
first place, that there need be no fear that the 
South, lately in rebellion, would again control 
the Government; that they were prostrated ; that 
their institutions had been overthrown ; that their 
industries had been broken up ; that in tlieirweak 
and broken condition there need be no fear that 
thev would again be placed at the head of public 
affairs; and, finally, that the South has united 
with the Democratic party not from choice, but 
forced to it by inexorable necessity as their only 
means of protection. 

" In the second place, there was apprehension. 



he said, that the Democracy, if they came into 
power, would not preserve the beneficent results 
of the war. But he assures us that this fear is 
groundless ; that the people of the South have no 
aspirations which are not bounded by the horizon 
of the Union ; that they as well as the Democ- 
racy of the North accept, honestly and sincerely, 
the great results of the war; and that they can 
he trusted to preserve all the good that has been 

"Again, he says it is feared, on the part of 
many, that the colored race, lately enslaved, will 
not be safe in the full enjdyment of all the rights 
resulting from the war, and guaranteed by the 
amendments to the Constitution. This he also 
assures us is a groundless fear, because the peo- 
ple of the South understand the colored race, ap- 
preciate their qualities, find are on such a footing 
ef friendship and regard that they are, in fact, 
better fitted to meet the wants of that people, and 
help them along in the way of civilization, en- 
lightenment, and peace, than those who are far- 
ther removed from such knowledge. 

" He emphasizes the statement that the South 
cheerfully accepts the results of the war, and ad- 
mits that much good has been achieved by the 
Republican party which ought to be preserved. 
I was gratified to hear the gentleman speak of 
Lincoln as ' the illustrious author of the great 
act of emancipation.' That admission will be 
welcomed, everywhere by those who believe in the 
justice and wisdom of that great act. While 
speaking of the condition of the South and its 
wants, he deplores two evils which afflict that 
portion of our country : First, Federal supervi- 
sion ; and, second, negro ascendency in its politi- 
cal affairs. In that Connection, it will be remem- 
bered, he quoted from John Stuart Mill and from 
Gibbon ; the one to show that the most deplora- 
ble form of government is where the slave, gov- 
erns ; and from the other to show the evils of a 
government which is in alien hands. The gen- 
tleman represented the South as suffering the 
composite evils depicted by both these great 

' ' Now I have stated — of course very briefly, 
but I hope with entire fairness — the scope of the 
very able speech to which we listened. In a 
word, it is this : the Republican party is oppress- 
ing the South ; negro suffrage is a grievous evil ; 
there are serious corruptions in public affairs in 
the national legislation and administration ; the 
civil service of the country especially needs great 
and radical reform ; and therefore the Democrat- 
ic party ought to be placed in control of the Gov- 
ernment at this time. 

"It has not been my habit, and it is not my 
desire, to discnss mere party politics in this great 
legislative forum. And I shall do so now only 
in so far as a fair review of the gentleman's speech 
requires. My remarks shall be responsive to his ; 
and I shall discnss party history and party poli- 
cy only as the logic of his speech leads into that 

" From most of the premises of the gentleman, 
as matters of fact and history, I dissent ; some 
of them are undoubtedly correct. But, for the 
sake of argument only, admitting that all his 
premises are coiTect, I deny that his conclusion 
is warranted by his premises ; and, before I 
close, I shall attempt to show that the good he 
seeks cannot be secured by the ascendency of 
the Democratic party at this time. 

"Before entering upon that field, however, I 
must notice this remarkable omission in the log- 
ic of his speech. Although he did state that the 
country might consider itself free from some of 
the dangers which are apprehended as the result 
of Democratic ascendency, he did not, as I re- 
member, by any word attempt to prove the fit- 
ness of the Democracy as a political organization 
to accomplish the reforms which he so much de- 
sires ; and without that affirmative proof of fitness 
his argument is necessarily an absolute failure. 

" It is precisely that fear which has not only 
made the ascendency of the Democratic party so 
long impossible, but has made it incompetent to 
render that service so necessary to good govern- 
ment — the service of maintaining the position of 
a wise and honorable opposition to the dominant 
party. Often the blunders and faults of the Bo- 

publican party have been condoned by the peo- 
ple because of the violent, reactionary, and dis- 
loyal spirit of the "Democracy. 

" He tells us that it is one of the well-known 
lessons of political history and philosophy, that the 
opposition party comes in to preserve and crys- 
tallize the measures which their antagonists in- 
augurated ; and that a conservative opposition 
party is better fitted to accomplish such a work 
than an aggressive radical party, who roughly 
pioneered the way and brought in the changes. 
And to apply this maxim to our own situation, 
he tells us that the differences between the Re- 
publican and the Democratic parties upon the is- 
sues which led to the war, and those which grew 
ont of it, were rather differences of time than of 
substance; that the Democracy followed more 
slowly in the Republican path, but have at last 
arrived, by prudent and constitutional methods, 
at the same results ; and hence they will be sure 
to guard securely and cherish faithfully what the 
Republicans gained by reckless and turbulent 
methods. Thbre is some truth in these ' glitter- 
ing generalities,' but, as applied to our present 
situation, they are entitled only to the considera- 
tion which we give to the blight but fantastic 
pictures of a Utopian dream. 

"I share all that gentleman's aspirations for 
peace, for good government at the South ; and 
I believe I can safely assure him that the great 
majority of the nation shares the same aspira- 
tions. But he will allow me to say that he has 
not fully stated the elements of the great prob- 
lem to be solved by the statesmanship of to-day. 
The actual field is much broader than the view 
he has taken. And before we can agree that the 
remedy he proposes is an adequate one, we must 
take in the whole field, comprehend all the con- 
ditions of the problem, and then see if his reme- 
dy is sufficient. The change he proposes is not 
like the ordinary change of a ministry in Eng- 
land when the government is defeated on a tax- 
bill or some routine measure of legislation. He 
proposes to turn over the custody and manage- 
ment of the Government to a party which has 
persistently and with the greatest bitterness re- 
sisted all the great changes of the last fifteen 
years ; changes which were the necessary results 
of a vast revolution — a revolution in national 
policy, in social and political ideas — a revolution 
whose causes were not the work of a day nor a 
year, but of generations and centuries. The scope 
and character of that mighty revolution must 
form the basis of our judgment when we inquire 
whether such a change as he proposes is safe 
and wise. 

"In discussing his proposition we must not 
forget that, as the result of this resolution, the 
South, after the great devastations of war, the 
great loss of life and treasure, the overthrow of 
its social and industrial system, was called upon 
to confront the new and difficult problem of two 
races — one just relieved from centuries of slav- 
ery, and the other a cultivated, brave, proud, im- 
perious race — to be brought together on terms of 
equality before the law. New, difficult, delicate, 
and dangerous questions bristle out from every 
point of that problem. 

" But that is not all of the situation. On the 
other hand, we see the North, after leaving its 
350,000 dead upon the field of battle and bring- 
ing home its 500,000 maimed and wounded to 
be cared for, crippled in its industries, stagger- 
ing under the tremendous burden of public and 
private debt, and both North and South weight- 
ed with unparalleled burdens and losses — the 
whole nation suffering from that loosening of the 
bonds of social order which always follows a 
great war, and from the resulting corruption both 
in the public and the private life of the people. 
These, Mr. Chairman, constitute the vast field 
which we must survey in order to find the path 
which will soonest lead our beloved country to 
the highway of peace, of liberty, and prosperity. 
Peace from, the shock of battle ; the higher peace 
of our streets, of our homes, of our equal rights 
we must make secure by making the conquering 
ideas of the war everywhere dominant and per- 

" With all my heart I join with the gentleman 
in rejoicing teat 

" ' The war-drams throb no longer, and the battl* 
flags are furled,' 

and I look forward with joy and hope to the day 
when our biave people, one in heart, one in their 
aspirations for freedom and peace, shall see that 
the darkness through which we have travelled 
was a part of that stern but beneficent discipline 
by which the Great Disposer of events has been 
leading us on to » higher and nobler national 

"But such a result can be reached only by 
comprehending the whole meaning of the revo- 
lution through which we have passed and are 
still passing. I say still passing ; for I remem- 
ber that after the battle of arms comes the bat- 
tle of history. The cause that triumphs in the 
field does not always triumph in history. And 
those who carried the war for union and equal 
and universal freedom to a victorious issue can 
never safely relax their vigilance until the ideas 
for which they fought have become embodied in 
the enduring forms of individual and national 

" Has this been done? Not yet. 

" I ask the gentleman in all plainness of 
speech, and yet in all kindness, is he correct in 
his statement that the conquered party accept 
the results of the war ? Even if they do, I re- 
mind the gentleman that accept is not a very 
strong word. I go further. I ask him if the 
Democratic party have adopted the results of the 
war ? Is it not asking too much of human nat- 
ure to expect such unparalleled changes to be 
not only accepted, but, in so short a time, adopted 
by men of strong and independent opinions ? 

" The antagonisms which gave rise to the war 
and grew out of it were not born in a day, nor 
can they vanish in a night. 

" Mr. Chairman, great ideas travel slowly, and 
for a time noiselessly, as the gods, whose feet 
were shod with wool. Our war of independence 
was a war of ideas, of ideas evolved out of two 
hundredyearsof slow and silent growth. When, 
one hundred years ago, our fathers announced ' 
as self-evident truths the declaration that all 
men are created equal, and the only just power 
of governments is derived from the consent of 
the governed, they uttered a doctrine that no 
nation had ever adopted, that not one kingdom 
on the earth then beheved. Yet to our fathers 
it was so plain that they would not debate it. 
They announced it as a truth ' self-evident.' 

"Whence came the unmortal truths of the 
Declaration? To me this was for years the 
riddle of our history. I have searched long and ,, 
patiently through the books of the doctrinaires 
to find the germs from which the Declaration of 
Independence sprang. I found hints in Locke, 
in Hobbes, in Rousseau, and Fenelon ; but they 
were only the hints of dreamers and philoso- 
phers. 'The great doctrines of the Declaration 
germinated in the hearts of our' fathers, and 
were developed under the new influences of this 
wilderness world, by the same subtle mystery 
which brings forth the rose from the germ of 
the rose-tree. Unconsciously to themselves, the 
great truths were growing under the new condi- i 
tions until, like the century-plant, they blossom- 
ed into the matchless beauty of the Declaration 
of Independence, whose fruitage, increased and 
increasing, we enjoy to-day. 

"It will not do, Mr. Chairman, to speak of 
the gigantic revolution through which we have 
lately passed as a thing to be adjusted and set- 
tled by a change of administration. It was cyc- 
lical, epochal, century-wide, and to be studied in 
its broad and grand perspective — a revolution 
of even wider scope, so far as time is concerned, 
than the Revolution of 1776. We have been 
dealing with elements and forces which have 
been at work on this continent more than two 
hundred and fifty years. I trust 1 shall be ex- 
cused if I take a few moments to trace some of 
the leading phases of the great struggle. And 
in doing so, I beg gentlemen to see that the sub- 
ject itself lifts us into a region where the indi- 
vidual sinks out of sight and is absorbed in the 
mighty current of great events. It is not the 
occasion to award praise or pronounce condem- 
nation. In such a revolution men are like in- , 
sects that fret and toss in the storm, but are 

SNvept onward by the resistless movements of 
elements beyond their control. I spenk of this 
revolution not to praise the men who aided i,t, 
or to censure the men who resisted it, but as a 
force to he studied, as a mandate to be obeyed. 

"In the year 1620 there were planted upon 
this continent two ideas irreconcilably hostile to 
each other. Ideas are the great warriors of the 
world ; and a war that has no ideas behind it is 
simply brutnlity. The two ideas were landed, 
one at Plymouth Eock from the Mayflower, and 
the other from a Dutch brig at Jamestown, Vir- 
ginia. One was the old doctrine of Luther, that 
private judgment, in politics as well as religion, 
is the right and duty of every man ; and the oth- 
er that capital should own labor, that the negro 
had no rights of matihood, and the white man 
might justly buy, own, and sell him and his off- 
spring forever. Thus freedom and equality on 
the one hand, and on the other the slavery of 
one race and the domination of another, were 
the two germs planted on this continent. In 
our vast expanse of wilderness, for a long time, 
there was room for both ; and their advocates 
began the race across the continent, each devel- 
oping the social and political institutions of their 
choice. Both had vast interests in common ; 
and for a long time neither was conscious of the 
fatal antagonisms that were developing. 

"For nearly two centuries there was no seri- 
ons collision ; but when the continent began to fill 
up, and the people began to jostle against each oth- 
er; when the Koundhead and the Cavalier came 
near enough to measure opinions, the irreconcil- 
able character of the two doctrines began to ap- 
pear. Many conscientious men studied the sub- 
ject, and came to the belief that slavery was a 
crime, a sin, or, as Wesley said, ' the sum of all 
villanies.' This'belief dwelt in small minorities 
for a long time. It lived in the churches and 
vestries, but later fonnd its way into the civil and 
political organizations of the country, and finally 
found its way into this chamber. A few brave, 
clear-sighted, far-seeing men announced it here, 
a little more than a generation ago. A prede- 
cessor of mine, Joshua R. Giddings, following 
the lead of John Quincy Adams, of Massachu- 
setts almost alone held np the banner on this 
floor, and from year to year comrades came to 
his side. Through evil and through good re- 
port he pressed the question upon the conscience 
of the nation, and bravely stood in his place in 
this House, until his white locks, like the plume 
of Henry of Navarre, showed where the battle 
for freedoms raged most fiercely. 

"And so the contest continued; the support- 
ers of slavery believing honestly and sincerely that 
slavery was a divine institution ; that it found its 
high sanctions in the living oracles of God and 
in a wise political philosophy ; that it was justi- 
fied by the necessities of their situation ; and 
that slave-holders were missionaries to the dark 
sons of Africa, to elevate and bless them. We 
are so far past the passions of that early time 
that we can now study the progress of the strug- 
gle as a great and inevitable development, with- 
out sharing in the crimination and recrimination 
that attended it. If both sides could have seen 
that it was a contest beyond their control j if 
both parties could have realized the truth that 
'unsettled questions have no pity for the repose 
of nations,' much less for the fate of political 
parties, the bitterness, the sorrow, the tears, 
and the blood might have been avoided. But 
we walked in the darkness, our paths obscured 
by the smoke of the conflict, each following his 
own convictions through ever-increasing fierce- 
ness, until the debate culminated in 'the last 
argument to which kings resort.' 

"This conflict of opinion was not merely one 
of sentimental feeling ; it involved our whole po- 
litical system ; it gave rise to two radically dif- 
ferent theories of the nature of onr GoA'ernment : 
tlie North believing and holding that we were a 
nation, the South insisting that we were only a 
confederation of sovereign States, and insisting 
that each State had the right, at its own discre- 
tion, to break the Union, and constantly threat- 
ening secession where tlie full rights of slavery 
were not acknowledged. 

"Thus the defence and aggrandizement of 


slavery, and the hatred of abolitionism, became 
not only the central idea of the Democratic par- 
ty, but its mnstei'-piission — a passion intensified 
and infiiimed by twenty-five years of fierce polit- 
ical contest, which had not only driven from its 
ranks all those who preferred freedom to slav- 
ery, but had absorbed all the extreme pro-slav- 
ery elements of the fallen Whig party. Over 
against this was arrayed the Republican party, 
asserting the broad doctrines of nationality and 
loyalty, insisting that no State had a right to se- 
cede, that secession was treason, and demanding 
that the institntion of slavery should be restrict- 
ed to the limits of the States where it already 
existed. But here and there, many bolder and 
more radical thinkers declared, with Wendell 
Phillips, that there never could be union and 
peace, freedom and prosperity, until we were 
willing to see John Hancock under a black skin. 

"That we may see more clearly the opinions 
which were to be settled by war, I will read two 
passages from the Congressional Globe, not for 
the purpose of making a personal point against 
any man, but simply to show where honest men 
stood when that contest was approaching its cri- 
sis. I read from a speech made on the 19th 
day of December, 1859, by the distinguished 
gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Singleton], 
then and now a member of this House : 

" ' The South will never submit to that state 
of things. It matters not what evils come upon 
us; it matters not how deep we may have to 
wade through blood : we are bound to keep our 
slaves in their present position. And let me 
ask you, what good would you bring to the slaves 
by this process of abolition ? You may possibly 
have the object in view of benefiting the slaves, 
or benefiiing the white race, or both ; but sup- 
pose you could carry out your plans and confine 
us to our present area, and suppose that the in- 
stitution of slavery should abolish itself, what 
would you have done ? You know it is impossi- 
ble for us to live on terms of equality with them. 
It is not to be supposed for a moment that we 
can do so. The result would be a war between 
the races, which would perhaps involve the utter 
annihilation of one or the other ; and thus you 
see that, instead of benefiting either, you would 
have brought disaster upon both. 

" ' But I tell you here to-day that the institu- 
tion of slavery must be sustained. The South 
has made up its mind to keep the black race in 
bondage. If we are not permitted to do this in- 
side of the Union, I tell yon that it will be done 
outside of it. Yes, sir, and we will expand this 
institution ; we do not intend to be confined 
within our present limits ; and there are not men 
enough in all your borders to coerce three mill- 
ion armed men in the South, and prevent their 
going into the siu-rounding Territories.' 

"In the coui-se of that debate, the same gen- 
tleman said : ' I am one of those who have 
said, and here repeat it, if the Black Republican 
party elect a President, I am for dissolving the 

"I have no doubt the gentleman fairly and 
fiiithfully represented the opinions of his State. 
Not long before the date of this speech, it will 
be remembered that two distinguished members 
of the Republican party had uttered their opin- 
ions on this question. Mr. Lincoln had said that 
it was impossible for a country to remain partly 
slave and partly free. And Mr. Seward had 
said that there was an irrepressible conflict be- 
tween the systems of free and slave labor, which 
could never cease nntil one or the other was 
wholly overthi'own. The Republican party, how- 
ever, disclaimed all right or purpose to interfere 
with slavery in the States ; yet they expressed 
the hope tliat the time would come when there 
should he no slave under our flag. In response 
to that particular opinion, the distinguished gen- 
tleman from Mississippi [Mr. Lamarj, then a 
member of this House, on the 23d day of Decem- 
ber, 1859, said this : 

" 'I was upon the floor of the Senate when 
your great leader, William H. Seward, announced 
that startling programme of antislavery senti- 
ment and action And, sir, in his exultation 

he exclaimed — for I heard him myself — that he 
hoped to see the day when thei'e would not be 


the footprint of a single slave npon tWs conti- 
nent. And when he uttered this attocious sen- 
timent, his form seemed to dilate, his pale, thin 
face, furrowed by the lines of thought and evil 
passions, kindled with malignant triumph, and 
his eye glowed and glared upon Southern Sen- 
ators as though the fires of hell were burning in 
his heart.' 

" I have read this passage to mark the height 
to which the antagonism had risen in 1859 ; and 
this passage enables us to measure the progress 
he has since made. 

"I mark it here, as one of the notable signs 
of the time, that the gulf which intervenes be- 
tween the position then occupied by the gentle- 
man from Mississippi, and the position he occu- 
pies to-day, is so deep, so vast, that it indicates 
a progress worthy of all praise. I congratulate 
him and the country that in so short a time so . 
great a change has been possible. 

" Now I ask the gentleman if he is quite sure, 
as a matter of fact, that the Democratic party, 
its Southeim as well as its Northern wing, have 
followed his own illustrious and worthy example 
in the vast progress he has made since 1859 ? 
He assures us that the transformation has been 
so complete, that the nation can safely trast all 
the most precious fruits of the war in the hands 
of that party who stood with him in 1 859. If 
that be true, I rejoice at it with all my heart ; 
but the gentleman must pardon me if I ask him 
to assist my wavering faith by some evidence, 
some consoling proofs. When did the great 
transformation take place ? Certainly not with- 
in two years after the delivery of the speech I 
have quoted ; for two years from that time the 
contest had risen much higher ; it had risen to 
the point of open, terrible, and determined war. 
Did the change come during the war? Oh no; 
for in the four terrible years ending in 1865, ev- 
ery resource of courage and power that the 
Southern States could muster was employed not 
only to save slavery, but to destroy the Union. 
So the transformation had not occnrred in 1865. 
When did it occur? Aid our anxious inquiry, 
for the nation ought to be sure that the great 
change has occurred before it can safely trust its 
destinies to the Democratic party. Did it oc- 
cur in the first epoch of reconstruction — the two 
years immediately following the war ? During 
that period the attempt was made to restore gov- 
ernments in the South on the basis of the white 
vote. Military control was held generally ; but 
the white popidation of the Southern States were 
invited to elect their own Legislatures, and estab- 
lish provisional governments. 

" In the laws, covering a period of two and a 
half years— 1865, 1866, and a portion of 1867— 
enacted by those Legislatures, we ought to find 
pixiof of the transformation if it had then oc- 
curred. What do we find? What we should 
naturally expect : that a people, accustomed to 
the domination of slavery, re-enacted in almost 
all of the Southern States, and notably in the 
States of Mississippi and Louisiana, laws limit 
ing and restricting the liberty of the colored man ; 
vagrant laws and peonage laws, whereby negroes 
were sold at auction for the payment of a paltry 
tax or fine, and held in a slavery as real as the 
slavery of other days. I believe that this was 
true of nearly all of the Southern States ; so that 
the experiment of allowing the white population 
of the South to adjust that very question proved 
a frightful failure ; and then it was that the na- 
tional Congress intervened. They proposed an 
act of reconstruction, an act which became a 
law on the 2d of March, 1867. 

"And what was that act ? Gentlemen of the 
South, yon are too deeply schooled in philosophy 
to take an umbrage at what I shall now say, for 
I am dealing only with history. Yon must know, 
and certainly do know, that the great body of the 
nation which had carried the war to triumph and 
success knew that the eleven States that had op- 
posed the Union had plunged their people into 
crime ; a crime set down in the law — a law signed 
by Pi'esident Washington — at the very top of the 
catalogue of crimes : the crime of treason, and 
all that follows it. You certainly know that, un- 
der that law, every man who voluntarily took up 
arms against the Union could have been tried. 



convicted, and hanged as a traitor to his conn- 
try. But rcall your attention to the fact that 
the conquering nation said, in this great worli of 
reconstruction, ' We will do nothing for revenge, 
everything for permanent peace ; ' and you know 
there never was a trial for treason in this coun- 
try during the whole of the struggle nor after it : 
no man was executed for treason ; no man was 
tried. There was no expatriation, no exile, no 
confiscation after the war. The only revenge 
which the conquering nation gratified was this : 
In saying to the South, 'You may come back to 
your full place in the Union when you do these 
things : join with the other States in putting into 
the Constitution a provision that the national 
debt shall never be repudiated ; that your Rebel 
war debt shall never be paid ; and that all men, 
without regard to race or color, shall stand equal 
before the law ; not in suffrage, but in civil rights ; 
that these great guarantees of liberty and public 
faith shall be lifted above the reach of political 
parties, above the legislation of States, above the 
legislation of Congress, and shall be set in the 
serene firmament of the Constitution, to shine as 
lights forever and forever. And under that equal 
sky, und6^ the light of that equal sun, all men, 
of whatever race or color, shall stand equal be- 
fore the law.' 

"That was the plan of reconstruction offered 
to those who had been in rebellion, offered by a 
generous and brave nation ; and I challenge t^e 
world to show an act of equal generosity to a 
conquered people. What answer did it meet? 
By the advice of Andrew Johnson, a bad adviser, 
backed by the advice of the Northern Democra- 
cy, a still worse adviser, ten of the eleven States 
lately in rebellion contemptuously rejected the 
plan of reconstruction embraced in the Four- 
teenth Amendment of the Constitution. They 
'would have none of it ; they had been invited 
by their Northern allies to stand out, and were 
told that when the Democracy came into power 
they should be permitted to come back to their 
places without guarantees or conditions. 

"This brings us to 1868. Had the transfor- 
mation occurred then ? For remember, gentle- 
men, I am searching for the date of the great 
transformation similar to that which has taken 
place in the gentleman from Mississippi. We 
do not find it in 1 868. On the contrary, in that 
year we find Frank P. Blair, of Missouri, writing 
these words, which, a few days after they were 
written, gave him the nomination for the Vice- 
presidency on the Democratic ticket : ' There is 
but one way to restore government and the Con- 
stitution : and that is for the President elect to 
declare all these acts' — and the constitutional 
amendment with them — ' to declare all these acts 
null and void, compel the army to undo its usur- 
pations at the South, and disperse the carpet-bag 
State governments, and allow the white people to 
reorganize their own governments and elect Sen- 
ators and Representatives.' 

"Because he wrote that letter, he was nomi- 
nated for Vice-president by the Democratic par- 
ty. Therefore, as late as July, 1868, the trans- 
formation had not occurred. 

" Had it occurred in 1872 ? In 1871 and 1872 
all the amendments of the Constitution had been 
adopted, agaipst the stubborn resistance of the 
Northern and Southern Democracy. I call you 
to witness that, with the exception of three or 
four Democratic Representatives who voted for 
the abolition of slavery, the three great amend- 
ments—the Thirteenth, the Fourteenth, and the 
Fifteenth — met the determined and united oppo- 
sition of the Democracy of this country. Each of 
the amendments now so praised by the gentleman 
was adopted against the whole weight of your re- 
sistance. And two years after the adoption of the 
last amendment, in many of your State platforms, 
they were declared to be null and void. 

"In 1871 and 1872 occurred throughout the 
South those dreadful scenes enacted by the Ku- 
klux organization, of which I will say only this, 
that a man yaeiVc princeps among the Democrats 
of the slave-holding States — Reverdy Johnson — 
who was sent down to defend those who were in- 
dicted for their crimes — held up his hands in hor- 
ror at the shocking barbarities that had been per- 
petrated by his clients upon negro citizens. I re- 

fer to the evidence of that eminent man as a suf- 
ficient proof of the character of that great con- 
spiracy against the freedom of the colored race. 
So the transformation had not come in the days 
of Ku-klux of 1871 and 1872. 

" Had it come in 1873 and the beginning of 
1874 ? Had it come in the State of Mississippi f 
Had it come in one-quarter of the States lately 
in rebellion 1 Here is a report from an honora- 
ble committee of this House, signed by two gen- 
tlemen who are still members — Mr. Conger and 
Mr. Hnrlburt — a report made as late as Decem- 
ber, 1874 — ^in which there is disclosed, by in- 
numerable witnesses, the proof that the White- 
Line organization — an armed military organiza- 
tion formed within the Democratic party — had 
leagued themselves together to prevent the en- 
joyment of suffrage and equal rights by the col- 
ored men of the South. 

"So the transformation had not occurred in 
August, 1874. I come down now to 1875, to 
the late autumn of that year, and ask if the trans- 
formation had then occurred. I will not detain 
the House by reading the testimony of the cloud 
of witnesses which gathers around me. While 
I say, to the honor of the gentleman from Mis- 
sissippi, that in his own State he spoke against 
the organization of the White Line, it is unques- 
tionably true that he was not supported by a 
like action on the part of the great mass of his 
political associates. With the utmost boldness 
Colonel Lamar spoke against the White Line, 
and though the State Convention ignored it, yet 
back of the Convention, and back of the gentle- 
man himself, the White Line was formed and 
carried the election, and intends in the same 
way to carry the next. 

" If the testimony of the Democratic Press of 
Mississippi is to be credited, the late election in 
the State of Mississippi was tainted with fraud, 
and managed by intimidation unparalleled by 
anything in our recent political history. Let 
the gentleman explain this striking fact : There 
are many thousands more colored than white vot- 
ers in Mississippi. In the electipn of 1873 the 
Republican party had 22,976 majority ; in the 
election last autumn the Democratic party had 
^0,922. How came this change of more than 
53,000, in the short space of two years, if there 
was a free and uncoerced vote of the electors of 
that State ? 

" Mr. Chairman, after the facts I have cited, 
am I not warranted in raising a grave doubt 
whether the transformation occurred at all ex- 
cept in a few patriotic and philosophic minds ? 
The light gleams first on the mountain peaks ; 
but shadows and darkness linger in the valley. 
It is in the valley masses of those lately in re- 
hellion that the light of this beautiful philosophy, 
which I honor, has not penetreted. Is it safer 
to withhold from them tlie custody and supreme 
control of the precious treasures of the Republic 
until the mid-day sun of liberty, justice, and equal 
laws shall shine upon them with unclouded ray ? 

" In view of all the facts, considering the cen- 
turies of influence that brought on the great strug- 
gle, is it not reasonable to suppose that it will 
require yet more time to effect the great trans- 
formation. Did not the distinguished gentleman 
from Massachusetts [Mr. George F. Hoar] sum 
up the case fairly and truthfully when he said 
of the South, in his Louisiana report of 1874 : 
' They submitted to the national authority not 
because they would, but because they must. They 
abandoned the doctrine of State sovereignty, 
which they had claimed made their duty to the 
States paramount to that due to the nation in 
case of conflict, not because they would, but be- 
cause they must. They submitted to the con- 
stitutional amendments which rendered their 
former slaves their equals iti all political rights, 
not because they would, but because they must. 
The passions which led to the war, the passions 
which the war excited, were left untamed and 
unchecked, except so far as their exhibition was 
restrained by the arm of power.' 

" The gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. La- 
mar] says there is no possibility that the South 
will again control national affairs, if the Democ- 
racy be placed again in power. How is this ? 
We are told that the South will vote as a unit 

for Tilden and Hendricks. Suppose those gen- 
tlemen also carry New York and Indiana. Does 
the gentleman believe that a Northern minority 
of the Democracy will control the Administra- 
tion ? Impossible ! Bat if they did, would it 
better the case ? 

"Let me put the question in another form. 
Suppose, gentlemen of the South, you had won 
the victory in the war ; that you had captured 
Washington, and Gettysburg, and Philadelphia, 
and New York ; and we of the North, defeated 
and conquered, hkd lain prostrate at your feet. 
Do you believe that by this time you would be 
ready and willing to intrust to us — our Garrisons, 
our Phillipses, and our Wades, and the great ar- 
ray of those who were the leaders of our thought 
— to intrust to us the fruits of your victory, the 
enforcement of your doctrines of State sover- 
eignty and the work of extending the domain 
of slavery ? Do you think so ? And if not, will 
yon not pardon us when we tell you that we are 
not quite ready to trust the precious results of 
the nation's victory in your hands ? Let it be 
constantly borne in mind that I am not debating 
a question of equal rights and privileges within 
the Union, but whether those who so lately sought 
to destroy it ought to be chosen to control its / 
destiny for the next four years. 

" I hope my public life has given proof that I 
do not cherish a spirit of malice or bitterness 
toward the South. Perhaps they will say I have 
no right to advise them ; but, at the risk of being 
considered impertinent, I will express my con- 
viction that the bane of the Southern people, for 
the last twenty -five years, has been that they 
have trusted the advice of the Democratic party. 
The very remedy which the gefttleman from Mis- 
sissippi offers for the ills of his people has been, 
and still is, their bane. The Democratic party 
has been the evil genius of the South in all these 
years. They yielded their own consciences to 
you on the slavery question, and led you to be- 
lieve that the North would always yield. They 
made you believe that we would not fight to save 
the Union. They made you believe that if we 
ever dared to cross the Potomac or Ohio to put 
down your Rebellion, we could only do so across 
the dead bodies of many hundred thousands of 
Northern Democrats. They made you believe 
that the war would begin in the streets of our 
Northern cities ; that we were a community of 
shopkeepers, of sordid money-getters, and would ' 

not stand against your fiery chivalry. You thought 
us cold, slow, lethargic ; and in some respects 
we are. There are some differences between * 
us that spring from oi-igin and influences of cli- ' * 
mate — differences not unlike the description of 
the poet, that 

" ' Bright and fierce and flckle is the South 
Ann dark and true and tender is the North ' — 

differences that kept us fi'om a good understand- 

" Yon thought that our coldness, our slowness, 
indicated a lack of spirit and of patriotism, and 
you were encouraged in that belief by most of 
the Northern Democracy ; but not by all. They 
warned you at Charleston in 1860. 

"And when the gi-eat hour struck, there were 
many noble Democrats in the North who lifted 
the flag of the Union far above the flag of party ; 
but there was a residuum of Democracy, called 
in the slang of the time ' Copperheads,' who were 
your evil genius from the beginning of the war 
till its close, and ever since. Some of them sat 
in these seats, and never rejoiced when we won 
a victory, and never grieved when we lost one. 
They were the men who sent their Vallandighams 
to give counsel and encouragement to your Re- 
bellion, and to buoy you up with false hope that 
at last you would conquer by the aid of their 
treachery. I honor you, gentlemen of the South, 
ten thousand times more than I honor such Dem- 
ocrats of the North. 

' ' I said they were your evil genius. Why, in 
1864, when we were almost at the culminating 
point of the war, their Vallandighams and Til- 
dens (and both of these men were on the com- 
mittee of resolutions) uttered the declaration, 
as the voice of the Democracy, that the experi- 
ment of war to preserve the Union was a failure, 

and tlmt hostilities should cense. They asked 
us to sound the recall on ouv bugles, to call our 
conquering m-mies back from the contest, and 
trust to their machinations to save their party 
at the expense of a broken and ruined country. 
Brave soldiers of the lost cause, did you not, 
even in that hour of peril, in your hearts loathe 
them with supremest scorn ? But for their ti-each- 
eiy at Chicago, the war might have ended and 
a hundred thousand precious lives been saved. 
But your evil genius pui'sued you, and the war 
went on. And later, when you would have ac- 
cepted the Constitutional Amendment and res- 
toration without universal suffrage, the same evil 
genius held you back. In 1868 it still deceived 
you. In 1872 it led you into 

" 'A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog 
Betwixt Somiata and Mouut Casina old, 
Where armies whole have sunk.' 

"Let not the eloquence of the gentleman 
from Mississippi [Mr. Lamar] lure you again to 
its brink. 

" Mr. Chairman, it is now time to inquire as 
to the fitness of this Democratic party to take 
control of our great nation and its vast and im- 
portant interests for the next four years. I put 
the question to the gentleman from Mississippi 
[Mr. Lamar], what has the Democratic party 
done to merit that great trust ? He tried to show 
in what respects it would not be dangerous. I 
ask him to show in what it would be safe. I 
a£Brm, and I believe I do not misrepresent the 
great Democratic party, that in the last sixteen 
yeare they have not advanced one great national 
idea that is not to-day exploded and as dead as 
Julius Caesar. And if any Democrat here will 
rise and name a gi-eat national doctrine his party 
has advanced, within that time, that is now alive 
and believed in, I will yield to hear him. [A 
pause.] In default of an answer, I will attempt 
to prove my negative. 

"What were the great central doctrines of 
the Democratic party in the Presidential struggle 
of 1860? The followei-s of Breckinridge said 
slavery had a right to go wherever the Consti- 
tution goes. Do yon believe that to-day? Is 
there a man on this continent that holds that 
doctrine to-day? Not one. That doctrine is 
dead and buried. The other wing of the Democ- 
racy held that slavery might be established in 
the Territories if the people wanted it. Does 
■anybody hold that doctrine to-day ? Dead, ab- 
solutely dead ! 

"Come down to 1864. Your party, under 
the lead of Tilden and Vallandigham, declared 
the experiment of war to save the Union was a 
failure. Do you believe that doctrine to-day? 
That doctrine was shot to death by the guns of 
Farragut at Mobile, and driven, in a tempest of 
fire, from the valley of the Shenandoah by Sher- 
idan less than a month after its birth at Chicago. 

"Come down to 1868. Yon declared the 
Constitutional Amendment revolutionary and 
void. Does any man on this floor say so to-day ? 
If so, let him rise and declare it. 

" Do you believe in the doctrine of the Broad- 
head letter of 1868, that the so-called Consti- 
tutional Amendments should be disregarded ? 
No ; the gentleman from Mississippi accepts the 
results of the war ! The Democratic doctrine 
of 1868 is dead! 

" I walk across that Democratic camping- 
ground as in a graveyard. Under my feet re- 
sound the hollow echoes of the dead. There lies 
Slavery, a black marble column at the head of its 
grave, on which I read : Died in the flames of 
the Civil War; loved in its life ; lamented in its 
death ; followed to its bier by its only mourner, 
the Democratic party, but dead ! And here is 
a double grave ; Sacred to the memory of Squat- 
ter Sovereignty. Died in the campaign of 1860. 
On the revei'se side : Sacred to the memory of 
the Dred Scott-Bi-eckinridge doctrine. Both 
-dead at the hands of Abraham Lincoln! And 
here t> monument of brimstone: Sacred to the 
memory of the Rebellion ; the war against it is a 
failure; Tilden et Vallandigham Jiscenmt, 
1864. Dead on the field of battle; shot to 
death by the million guns of the Republic. The 
-doctrine of Secession; of State Sovereignty. 


Dead. Expired in the flames of civil war, amidst 
the blazing raftei-s of the Confederacy, except 
that the modern ./Eneas, fleeing out of the flames 
of that ruin, beai-s on his back another Anchises 
of State Sovereignty, and brings it here in the 
person of the honorable gentleman from the 
Appomattox district of Virginia [Mr. Tucker]. 
[Laughter.] All else is dead. 

"Now, gentlemen, are you sad, are you sorry 
for these deaths ? Are you not glad that Seces- 
sion is dead ? that slavery is dead ? that Squat- 
ter Sovereignty is dead ? that the doctrine of the 
failure of the war is dead ? Then you are glad 
that you were out-voted in 1860, in 1864, in 1868, 
and in 1872. If you have tears to shed over these 
losses, shed them in the graveyard, but not in this 
House of living men. I know that many a 
Southern man rejoices that these issues are dead. 
The gentleman from Mississippi has clothed his 
joy with eloquence. 

" Now, gentlemen, if you yourselves are glad 
that you have suffered defeat during the last six- 
teen years, will you not be equally glad when 
you suffer defeat next November? [Laughter.] 
But pardon that remark ; I regret it ; I would 
use no bravado. 

" Now, gentlemen, come with me for a mo- 
ment into the camp of the Republican party and 
review its career. Our central doctrine in 1860 
was that slavery should never extend itself over 
another foot of American soil. Is that doctrine 
dead? It is folded away like a victorious ban- 
ner ; its truth is alive for evermore on this con- 
tinent. In 1864 we declared that we would put 
down the Rebellion and Secession. And that 
doctrine lives, and will live when the second 
Centennial has arrived ! Freedom, national, 
universal, and perpetual — our great Constitu- 
tional Amendments, are they alive or dead? 
Alive, thank the God that shields both liberty 
and Union. And our national credit, saved from 
the assaults of Pendleton ; saved from the as- 
saults of those who struck it later, rising higher 
and higher at home and abroad ; and only now 
in doubt lest its chief, its only enemy, the Democ- 
racy, should triumph in November. 

" Mr. Chairman, ought the Republican party 
to surrender its truncheon of command to the 
Democracy? The gentleman from Mississippi 
says, if this were England, the, ministry would 
go out in twenty-four hours with such a state of 
things as we have here. Ah, yes ! that is an 
ordinary case of change of administi-ation. But 
if this were England, what would she have done 
at the end of the war ? England made one such 
mistake as the gentleman asks this country to 
make, when she threw away the achievements 
of the grandest man that ever trod her highway 
of power. Oliver Cromwell had overturned the 
throne of despotic power, and had lifted his conn- 
try to a place of masterful greatness among the 
nations of the earth ; and when, after his death, 
his great sceptre was transferred to a weak though 
not unlineal hand, his country, in a moment of 
reactionary blindness, brought back the Stuarts. 
England did not recover from that folly until, in 
1689, the Prince of Orange drove from her island 
the last of that weak and wicked line. Did she 
afterward repeat the blunder? 

"For more than fifty years pretenders were 
seeking the throne ; and the wars on her coast, 
in Scotland and in Ireland, threatened the over- 
throw of the new dynasty and the disruption of 
the empire. But the solid phlegm, the magnifi- 
cent pluck, the roundabout common -sense of 
Englishmen steadied the throne till the cause of 
the Stuarts was dead. They did not change as 
soon as the battle was over, and let the Stuarts 
come back to power. 

" And how was it in our own country, when 
onr fiithers had triumphed in the war of the Rev- 
olution ? When the victory was won, did they 
open their arms to the Loyalists, as they called 
themselves, or Tories, as our fathere called them ? 
Did they invite them back? Not one. They 
confiscated their lands. The States passed de- 
crees that no T017 should live on our soil. And 
when they were too poor to take themselves 
away, our fathers, burdened as the young nation 
was with debt, raised the money to transport the 
Tories beyond seas or across the Canada border. 


They went to England, to France, to Nova 
Scotia, to New Brunswick, and especially to 
Halifax ; and that town was such a resort for 
them, that it became the swear-word of our boy- 
hood. 'Go to Halifax!' was a substitute for a 
more impious, but not more opprobrious expres- 
sion. The presence of Tories made it oppro- 

"Now, I do not refer to this as an example 
which we ought to follow. Oh no. We live in 
a milder era, in an age softened by the more 
genial influence of Christian civilization. Wit- 
ness the sixty-one men who fought against us in 
the late war, and who are now sitting in this and 
the other Chamber of Congress. Every one of 
them is here because a magnanimous nation 
freely voted that they might come ; and they are 
welcome. Only please do not say that you are 
just now especially fitted to rule the Republic, 
and to be the apostles of liberty and of blessings 
to the colored race. 

" Gentlemen, the North has been asked these 
many yeai-s to regard the sensibilities of the 
South. We have been told that you were brave 
and sensitive men, and that we ought not to 
throw firebrands among you. Most of our peo- 
ple have treated you with justice and magnanim- 
ity. In some things we have given yon just 
cause for complaint ; but I want to remind yon 
that the North also has sensibilities to be regard- 
ed. The ideas which they cherished, and for 
which they fought, triumphed in the highest 
court, the court of last resort, the field of battle. 
Our people intend to abide by that verdict and 
to enforce the mandate. They rejoice at every 
evidence of acquiescence. They look forward 
to the day when the distinctions of North and 
South shall have melted away in the grander 
sentiment of nationality. But they do not think 
it is yet safe to place the control of this great 
work in your hands. In the hands of some of 
yon they would be safe, perfectly safe ; but in 
the hands of the united South, joined with the 
most reactionaiy elements of the Northern De- 
mocracy, our people will not yet surrender the 

" I am aware that there is a general disposi- 
tion ' to let by-gones be by-gones,' and to judge 
of parties and of men, not by what they have 
been, but by what they are and what they pro- 

"That view is partly just and partly erroneons. 
It is just and wise to bnry*resentments and an- 
imosities. It is erroneous in this, that parties 
have an organic life and spirit of their own — an 
individuality and character which outlive the 
men who compose them ; and the spirit and 
traditions of a party should he considered in de- 
termining their fitness for managing the affairs 
of a nation. For this purpose I have reviewed 
the history of the Democratic party. 

" I have no disposition, nor would it be jast, to 
shield the Republican party from fair and search- 
ing criticism. It has been called to meet ques- 
tions novel and most difficult. It has made many 
mistakes. It has stumbled and blundered ; has 
had some bad men in it : has suffered from the 
corruptions incident to the period following a 
gi'eat war ; and it has suffered rebuke and partial 
defeat in consequence. But has it been singular 
and alone in these respects ? With all its faults, 
I fearlessly challenge gentlemen to compare it 
with auy party known to our politics. Has the 
gentleman shown that the Democratic party is 
its superior either in virtue or intelligence 7 
Gentlemen, the country has been testing . your 
qualities during the last eight months. The peo- 
ple gave you a probationary trial by putting you 
in control of this House. When you came here 
in December last, the same distinguished gentle- 
man to whom I am replying addressed you, on 
the evening of your first caucus, in these words : 
'There has been for some time in the public 
mind a conviction profound and all-pervading 
that the civil service of the country has not been 
directed from considerations of public good, but 
from those of party profit, and for corrupt, selfish, 
and unpatriotic designs. The people demand at 
our hands a sweeping and thorongh reform, which 
shall be conducted in a spirit that will secnrs 
the appointment to places of trust and respoDsi- 



bility of the honest, the experienced> and the 

"That is sound doctrine; and I have advo- 
cated it here and elsewhere, and during the last 
eight years. I remind him that the pernicions 
doctrine, that ' to the victors belong the spoils,' is 
of Democratic oiigiii ; that nearly half a century 
of Democratic tradition and practice has fasten- 
ed it upon the country. We found it, and have 
been cursed by it ever since ; and though some ef- 
forts havebeen made to reform it, the good work 
is hardly begun. When, therefore, the gentle- 
man from Mississippi [Mr. Lamar], as chairman 
of the Democratic caucus, at the opening of the 
session, announced the doctrine I have quoted, 
we had reason to hope that a new era of civil 
service had dawned upon the Capitol. But what 
performance has followed his high-sounding proc- 
lamation ? No sooner did this reforming party 
take possession of this House, than it began the 
most wholesale, sweeping changes of officials, 
from^the highest to the humblest employes of 
the House, that has been known in our history. 
Many of these officers had come to us fi-om our 
Democratic predecessors ; but they were almost 
all' disniissed to give place to hungry partisans. 
Sixty-seven Union soldiers, who were faithfully 
doing their dudes here, were turned out, and 
among those who filled their places were forty- 
seven Rebel soldiers. 

" I desire to glance for a moment now at the 
career of this House, and at what they have done 
and omitted to do. Passing by their treatment 
of contested-election cases, their appointment of 
officers, employes, committee-clerks who have re- 
flected no credit upon the House, I desire to 
a^ what valuable work of general legislation has 
this House accomplished ? 

' ' We had hardly been here a month, when, 
among the first things demanded was that, in 
disregard of the deep feelings of the Northern 
people, it was proposed to crown Jefferson Da- 
vis with full and free amnesty, notwithstanding 
he had contemptuously declared he never would 
ask for it ; and this was to be done, or no am- 
nesty was to be granted to any one. And when 
we objected because he was the author of the un- 
utterable atrocities of Libby and Andersonville 
prisons, the debate which followed disclosed the 
spirit and temper of the dominant party. 

" We were hardly in our seajts when the gen- 
tleman from Virginia [Mr. Tucker] brought in 
a bill to repeal a statute of 1866 which no Dem- 
ocrat had before that proposed to disturb, so far 
as I know — a statute which provided that no 
man who voluntarily went into the rebellion 
against the Union should ever hold a commis- 
sion in our Army or Navy. And a Democrat 
from my own State [Mr. Banning], the chair- 
man of the Committee on Military Affairs, be- 
came the champion of that bill ; and this House 
passed it. 

"Again, we had passed a law to protect the 
sanctity and safety of the ballot in national elec- 
tions, so that the horrors of the Ku-klux and the 
White-Lines should not run riot at the polls, and 
among the earliest acts of this House was a clause 
added to one of the appropriation bills to repeal 
the election law ; and to effect that repeal they 

kept up the struggle lately under the fierce rays 
of the dog-star. They have been compelled by 
a Republican Senate to abandon the attempt. 

"Again, what have they neglected ? Early in 
the session, indeed in the first days of it, a prop- 
osition was made, introduced by the gentleman 
from Maine [Mr. Blaine], so to amend the Con- 
stitution as to remove forever from the party pol- 
itics of the country the vexed and dangerous ques- 
tion of Church and State by preventing the use 
of the school funds for sectarian purposes. That 
amendment was sent to the Committee on the 
Judiciary to sleep, perhaps to die; for-it is said 
to have been three times' voted down in that com- 

"AgaSr;, the Secretary of the Treasury official- 
ly informed us that his power was exhausted fur- 
ther to refund the debt ; and that if we would 
give him the requisite authority he could refund 
four or five hundred millions more at so favor- 
able a. rate as to save the Treasury at least one 
per cent, per annum of the whole amount. The 
Senate passed the bill more than six months ago, 
but this House has taken no action upon it. 

" Our revenues have been threatened with a 
deficit, and our industries have been shaken with 
alarm by bills reported to the House but never 
brpught to a vote ; for example, the Tariff Bill, 
floating lazily upon the stagnant waters of the 

" 'As idle as a painted phip 
Upon a paiuted ocean ' — 

a promise to free-traders, a threat of danger to 
manufacturers, but with no prospect or purpose 
of acting upon it. 

"And the Government has been crippled by 
the withholding of necessary appropi'iations ; 
withheld, as I do not hesitate to say, for the pur- 
pose of making political capiial at the coming 
election, in which the gentleman from Mississippi 
desires his party to succeed in the name of hon- 
esty and reform. His colleague was frank enough 
to declare that he wanted to reduce the general 
appropriations, so as to have money enough to 
devote to some scheme for his section, such as 
the cotton claims and the Southern Pacific Rail- 

"But party necessity has held many waiting 
schemes and claims in leash. They are anchor- 
ed in the lobbies and committee - rooms of this 
House till the election is over. There is the bill 
to refund the. cotton tax to the amount of $60,- 
000,000, wi^iting to be launched when the elec- 
tion is over. A subsidy of $100,000,000 up- 
stairs (Pacific Railroad committee-room) is wait- 
ing to come down upon us for the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad when the election is over. There 
are $38,000,000 of private claims. Southern 
claims, war claims, waiting to burst up from the 
committee-rooms below-stairs when the election 
is over. 

" While these things surround us ; while the 
very earth shakes with the tramp of the advan- 
cing army of schemers, who are coming ' with 
the Constitution and an appropriation,' the gen- 
tleman from Mississippi thinks that as a measure 
of reform the Democratic party ought at once to 
be brought back into power ! 

"Meanwhile what has been the chief employ- 

ment of this House? It has divided itself into 
a score of police courts, in the hope of finding 
corruption. Like those insects that feed upon 
sores, it has hoped to live and thrive upon the 
corruption of others. Like that scavenger of 
the air, the carrion bird, that buiies its beak in 
the rotten carcass, so the Democratic party seeks' 
to fatten on the refuse which is here and there 
thrown out of the public service. 

"This House has adopted eighty-three resolu- 
tions of investigation, besides a legion of reso- 
lutions of inquiry of the several Departments. 
Twenty-five standing committees and eight select 
committees, up to the 20th of June, in all thirty- 
three committees, have been raking all the slums 
of the nation, to find, if possible, some savory 
morsel with which to impregnate the air during 
the coming election. 

"And what have they found ? Has any of 
these committees found that a' single dollar has 
been stolen from the Treasury of the United 
States ? If so, let them declare it. Why, sir, 
the Republican party for the last three years has 
been investigating its own Administration far 
more effectually than you have^ investigated it. 
It has had not only the courage of its opinions, 
but the courage to punish its own rascals. 

" But, gentlemen, after all that may be said 
of corruptions and wrong-doing, do you show, 
on that ground, any good reason why the Repub- 
lican party should surrender the Government to 
the Democracy ? Would it be better f It is a 
matter of official record that the Treasury suffer- 
ed a. far greater percentage of loss, by misman- 
agement and defalcation, under your administra- 
tion than it has suffered under oui-s. 

"Mr. Chairman, our fathers never thought it 
necessary to call the Tories back to take charge 
of their newly-gained liberties. 

"I will close by calling your attention again 
to the great problem before us. Over this vast 
horizon of interests North and South, above all 
party prejudices and personal wrong-doing, above 
our battle hosts and our victorious cause, above 
all that we hoped for and won, or you hoped for 
and lost, is the grand, onward movement of tlie 
Republic to perpetuate its glory, to save liberty 
alive, to preserve exact and equal justice to all, 
to protect and foster all these priceless principles, 
until they shall have crystallized into the fonm 
of enduring law, and become inwrought into the 
life and the habits of our people. 

"And, until these great results are accom- 
plished, it is not safe to take one step backward. 
It is still more unsafe to trust interests of such 
measureless value in the hands of an organiza- 
tion whose members have never comprehended 
their epoch, have never been in sympathy with 
its great movements, who have resisted every 
step of its progress, and whose principal function 
has been 

" ' To lie in cold obstruction ' 
pcross the pathway of the nation. 

"No, no, gentlemen, our enlightened and pa- 
triotic people will not follow such leaders in the 
rearward march. Their myiiad faces are turned 
the other way ; and along their serried lines still 
rings the cheering cry, ' Forward ! till our great 
work is fully and worthily accomplished.'" 



The Credit Mobilier was, without doubt, one of 
the most gigantic swindles in history. The fa- 
mous scheme of JohnLaw, which beggared France 
for thirty years, was more wide-spread and dis- 
astrous in its consequences ; but it was the ef- 
fect of a sudden financial craze which seized 
upon the community, and not the result of any 
thoroughly devised and skil^Uy executed plan 
on the part of its projector. Not so the Credit 
Mobilier of America. This scheme was coolly 
and deliberately concocted through a course of 
years, and as coolly and deliberately executed in 

the full blaze of newspapers and telegraphs, when 
the public' mind was in its normal condition. 

One was an accident made possible only by an 
exceptional state of popular feeling ; the other 
was the logical consequence of certain move- 
ments; and, those movements being made, would 
have succeeded under any circumstances. It 
was a game of chess played between Oakes Ames 
and the public, the public not knowing the game, 
and Ames having the advantage of the devil to 
prompt his playing. This will clearly appear 
from a glance at the facts of the transaction. 

■The majority of readers can remember the 
universal interest which existed about twen- 
ty years ago in the project of a railroad to the 
Pacific. Fremont had made his overland trip 
to California; and Colfax, Bayard Taylor, and 
Horace Greeley had journeyed "across the 
Continent," and come back with glowing ac- 
counts of the genial climate, and immense agii- 
cultural and mineral resources of the young em- 
pire which bathes its feet, in the Pacific, and 
holds the golden gate-way of the eastern hemi- 
sphere. Boundless prosperity would result to 

the whole country if the young and virgin State 
were wedded with an iron ring to the older and 
richer States on the Atlantic seaboard. This 
was the universal sentiment, and soon Congress 
caught its inspiration. It passed an act holding 
ont the most munificent inducements to any one 
who would undertake to bnild an iron raad 
across the country to the Pacific. 

It granted a charter to the "Union Pacific 
Railroad," with a capital of one hundred millions, 
and a land grant of twenty millions of acres — 
twenty square miles of land to every lineal mile 
of rtad — and it offered to loan the company six- 
teen thousand dollars a mile through the prairie 
levels ; thirty-two thousand doUai-s a mile up the 
slopes of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Moun- 
tains; and forty- eight thousand doUai-s a mile 
across the broken country that lies between 
thesft two ranges. In other words : for the 
building of one thousand and eighty-three miles 
of railroad, the Government offered a free gift 
of land worth at least twenty-five million dollars, 
and a loan, in cash, of twenty-seven millions. 

But the tempting bait was not taken. Capi- 
tal is timid, and capitalists were afraid to vent- 
ure into an untrodden wilderness, swarming 
with hostile Indians, where the track-layer would 
have to work with a spade in one hand and a 
rifle in the other. Besides, it would be a quar- 
ter of a century before local settlements along 
the line would contribute any revenue, and from 
a through traffic alone no dividends could be ex- 
pected. It was a great, a patriotic enterprise, 
and every one wanted to see the road built, but 
every one wanted somebody else to build it. So 
it remained an "unfinished problem" until the 
war came, and then all the loose money in the 
country was turned into powder, to be burnt 
up, a sacrifice for free institutions. 

The war over, and the country saved, people 
could think again of enlarging the " area of free- 
dom" by annexing to civilization the rich and 
almost limitless prairies that stretch westward to 
the Rocky Mountains and on to the Pacific. At 
least one man thought of this, and set himself 
resolutely to work to make this splendid di-eam a 
glorious reality ; but whether he had the interest 
of freedom so much at heart as his own interest, 
his subsequent acts may well lead us to question. 

This man was a Yankee blacksmith, ignorant, 
illiterate, and without a knowledge of the first 
principles of book-keeping; and yet be had a 
mind capacious enough to hold all the details of 
an extensive business, and a spirit bold enough 
to undertake the mostgigantic enterprises. With 
an older brother, he haid begun life as a manu- 
&ctarer of shovels ; and going from little to 
great, had, before he reached middle age, accu- 
mulated a handsome fortune. Then the fiiilare 
of a rival mannfiicturer, on whose stock and 
property he held a mortage, made him a miU- 
ionnaire, and gave him a monopoly of the shovel 
business. He was thns crowned the "King of 
Spades ;" but it was rumored that this new dig- 
nity was not founded on the law of "loving our 
neighbor," but on that other law of loving our 
neighbor's goods and chattels. In fiict, he was 
accused of converting wrongfully, though legal- 
ly, his rival's property to his own possession. 
But I suppose this is none of my, or the read- 
er's business, except as it may show the sort of 
^an some of whose acts we are about to take 
into consideration. 

We are told to JHdge a tree by its fruits, 
and, up to his coup aitat in the spade business, 
there were no fruits in this blacksmith's life to 
indicate that he was a bad man. He seemed to 
be honest, as the world accounts honesty; and 
he boasted that his " word was as good as his 
bond;" and I reckon it was; for so shrewd a 
man could not have been ignorant of the com- 
mercial value of a reputation for integrity. And 
he had none of the meanness that is attributed 
to his birthplace, New England. There was 
nothing small about him. He w.^_ built upon 
too large a scale to stoop to little things, and he 
oonld even be generous — when he saw some, how- 
ever distant, personal advantage. In short, he 
had only one fanlt ; but that was radical, and, in 
the end, vitiated the whole man. He was thor- 
oughly selfish.! all his plans centred in himself; 


and so he fell an easy prey to the accursed spir- 
it of accumulation which, when it once takes full 
possession, mildews and destroys even the most 
generous nature. 

This man's wealth gave him influence, which 
influence, after a time, sent him to Congress. 
He was there a prominent member of the Pacific 
Railroad Committee when the war was about to 
close, and he saw the moment had arrived to trans- 
late this visionary project into a tangible reality. 
But no sane business man would think of invest- 
ing in a road across eleven hundred miles of unin- 
habited waste with any hope of dividends on his 
money, and this man was in pursuit of the al- 
mighty dollar. He would, therefore, not invest 
in the road, but he would contract to build it, 
and get the Government to pay enough, directly 
or indirectly, for the building, to allow a hand- 
some profit on the construction, and then it mat- 
tered not to him what became of the road, the 
stock, or the dividends. 

The first step in the programme was to com- 
mit the Government to more liberal terms ; and 
to this end a bill was i-eported from the Railroad 
Committee, of which the Yankee blacksmith was 
a member, authorizing the Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany to issue its bonds, to be a first lien on the 
road, for the same amount as those to be issued to 
the Government. Thus the Government would 
have only a second mortgage, and take the whole 
risk of the enterprise ; and, as if this were not 
enough, the bill allowed the Company to mort- 
gage the land the Government had given to it, 
and to issue construction bonds, in advance of 
grading, upon one hundred miles of trackless 
mountain and prairie, even before its own sur- 
veyor had set foot upon it. 

Congress passed the bill, and thus was made 
sure the first step in the programme. That it 
was an important step will be evident when it is 
stated that by this bill the Company became em- 
powered to sell in the market securities to the 
amount of ninety-five millions of dollars on a 
road that would not cost over fifty millions. 
Therefore, if the bonds should sell for five per 
cent, below par, there would be a net profit on 
the transaction of forty millions — a sum moch 
larger than the whole amount of bonds to be ad- 
vanced by the Government. This the Yankee 
blacksmith knew, for he had already built one or 
more railroads. 

The next step was to organize the Company, 
and to include among the directors a number of 
well-known and highly respectable gentlemen, 
whose names and reputation would give confi- 
dence in the enterprise and iaciUtate the disposal 
of the bonds. This was done on the 1st of No- 
vember, 1865, and the Hon. John A. Dix was 
elected president of the road. Two million dol- 
lars of stock was at the same time suhicribed 
for, and ten per cent, on that amount paid in : 
$200,000, with which to build a road that was 
to cost $50,000,000 ! 

The Company, however, calculated to bnild 
the road upon the proceeds of its bonds, and 
therefore it was necessary that a public interest 
should he created in the enterpiise that would 
facilitate the negotiation of these securities. In 
other words, the directors had now some wares 
for sale, and a market must be made for them 
by advertising. And in this the Company seems 
to have been especially fortunate, for on the 11th 
of December, 1865 — less than six weeks after its 
organization — the Hon. Schuyler Colfax begim 
the delivery of a series of lectures, in nil parts of 
the country, on the overland journey, in the per- 
oration of which he made an eloquent appeal for 
a railroad "Across the Continent." I do not 
assert that this gentleman was in the pay of the 
Company, or that the lecture had been even sug- 
gested by the Yankee blacksmith ; for I have 
no knowledge whatever on the subject; but I 
would call attention to the singular coincidence 
of time and purpose, and mention the fact that 
the lecture was delivered in about every lai^ 
city in the Union, and that it did excite a deep 
interest in the project that was now so near to 
the hearts and pockets of the blacksmith and his 

These two steps having been taken, it re- 
mained now to test the blacksmith's estimates 


of the cost of building the road by employing a 
competent engineer to go over the ground, and 
carefully survey the route as far west as the 
Rocky Mountains. This was done, and his re. 
port only served to show that the blacksmith was 
thoroughly familiar with the building of rail- 
roads. The figures agreed in a wonderful man. 
ner; and they demonstrated that the profits 
would be all that had been calculated. 

There now remained only one more step to 
insure the certain flow of the enoimous profits 
of this gigantic enterprise into the pockets of the 
Yankee blacksmith and his associates, und that 
was the devising of some scheme whereby they — 
the directors and managers of the railroad — might 
become also its builders and contractors. This 
at first sight would seem to be a diflxcult thing ; 
for the ordinary mind cannot see how one and 
the same person can be buyer and seller at one 
and the same time, consistently with honor and 
honesty, especially if he be acting for another 
in a fiduciary capacity. But the blacksmith'* 
was not an ordinary mind, and honor and hon- 
esty had been ruled out of his ledger — the ac- 
counts closed and balanced — ^years before, when 
he gave himself up, body and soul, to the spirit 
of accumulation. He had seen the end from the 
beginning, and provided for this already; and 
this brings ns to the Credit Mobilier of America. 

This was a moribund corporation, chartered 
some time before — under another name — by the 
State of Pennsylvania. The charter could bo 
bought for a nominal price. Forthwith this 
was done, and then the blacksmith and his as- 
sociates — six other spirits like unto himself — ' 
organized for their campaign of plunder. They 
were to form a ring within a ring — a wheel with- 
in a wheel — and all the grist which came to the 
mill was to pass through their hopper. The 
plan, in brief, was for this Company to contract 
with the railroad company for the building of 
the line for about twice its actual cost, and to 
divide the profits among these seven associates, 
in the proportion of the stock each one held in 
the Company. The charter required seven di- 
rectors ; therefore the blacksmith was obliged to 
have associates, even if he alone could have car- 
ried the whole of the gigantic operation. Howev- 
er, he was, and continued to be as long as it ex- 
isted, the heart, brains, and soul of the Company. 

I must not omit to mention that the Hon. John 
A. Dix, president, and Mr. Peter A. Dey, engi- 
neer of the railroad company, resigned their po- 
sitions as soon as the tactics of the inner ring 
began to be developed. The action of this lat- 
ter gentleman was especially commendable. Ha 
had been asked to estimate upon the first one 
hundred miles of road, and had returned thirty 
thousand dollars a mile as the cost of its con- 
struction. He was told to revise his figures — to 
put an excavation here, an embankment there, 
and to increase the expense generally, so that it 
should reach a total of fifty thousand dollars a 
mile. The answer he made to this proposal is 
worthy of being recorded. It was addressed to 
the president of the road, who also soon after- 
ward resigned. He sajs : " My views of the 
Pacific Road are, perhaps, peculiar, I look upon 
its managers as trustees of the bounty of Con- 
gress You are, doubtless, informed how dis- 

proportioned the amount to be paid is to the 
work contracted for. I need not expatiate on 
the sincerity of my course, when yon reflect upon 
the fact that I have resigned the best position in 
my profession this country has offered to any 

This noble action of this comparatively poor 
man has no especial bearing on our subject, but 
I have introduced it here for the same reason 
that an artist throws bright colors into a picture 
— to relieve the dark ones, and bring out mors 
clearly the turpitude of the millionnalre black- 
smith and his millionnaire accomplices. 

Space will not permit me to detail the oper- 
ations of these delectable associates, nor, if I did, 
would it be pleasant reading. The average read- 
er may delight to hear 8f "battles, murder, and 
sudden death," but his gorge will surely rise at 
the relation of the daily doings of a gang of 
thieves. But I am forced to some mention of 
their general operations. 



The course at first pursued was for the Rail- 
road Company to contract with some man of 
straw for the building of a certain section of the 
line, and then for this straw contractor to assign 
the contract to the Credit Mobilier Company, 
which then, as his assignee, received the bonds 
by which payment was made by the Kailroad 
Company. This course was pursued up to Au- 
gust 16th, 1867, when even this formality was 
thrown aside, and the blacksmith himself con- 
tracted with the Railroad Company for six hun- 
dred and sixty-seven miles of road, at a cost of 
•$i7, 9 15,000, and himself assigned (on October 
15th, 1867) the contract to the Credit Mobilier 
Company. Success had given them boldness, 
and tlicy now did riot even care for fig-leaves to 
cover their nakedness. It will be remembered 
that the ofiScers and directors of one Company 
were the offluers and directors of the other. They 
were, therefore, literally contracting with them- 
selves. Even William M. Tweed, famous 
"Well, what are you going to do about it?" in- 
dicated a sufficient degree of boldness, had not 
the sublime effrontery of these villains. 

The result of their operations may be very 
briefly stated. The Credit Mobilier Company 
built the Union Pacific Railroad at a cost to it- 
self of $50,720,958 94, and a cost to the Rail- 
road — in other words, to the bond-holders and 
the Goveranient— of $94,650,287 28. That is 
to say, it robbed the country of $43,929,328 34, 
which amount, less the cost of selling its securi- 
ties, it divided among its stockholders. What 
this cost of negotiation was is diil'erently stated, 
and cannot now be exactly ascertained ; but the 
following detail of dividends which the Credit 
Mobilier made is considered reliable : 

July, 1867, from Boomer Contract $1,104,000 Ofl 

" " " Hoxie " 6,108,232 91 

Dec, I" " Ames " 120^ 4,488,000 00 

Jan., 1868, " " " Wfi 748,000 00 

Jnne, " " " " 100* 3,750,000 00 

July 3, " " " " K% 2,791,500 00 

" 8, " " " 'fc 30i 1,095,168 00 

Dec, " " " '^ 200* 7,699,000 00 

1869, " Davis contract and final 

division ■ 13,000,009 00 

Total dividends in two years $39,743,900 91 

These, be it understood, were the earnings of a 
capital oi only $3,750,000 — a multiplying of 
the money invested more than ten times within 
a period of only two years ! Oakes Ames, in his 
testimony before the Poland Committee, stated 
the earnings at about 800 per cent. ; but the 
above statement shows that on this occasion, at 
least, he did not tell the whole truth. 

One would think that, with this exhibit of 
profits before them, these men, whose souls were 
engrossed in the one passion of accumulation, 
would have been satisfied. Probably they would 
have been, were the saying not true that "the 
thief doth fear each bush an officer." They 
feared exposure, they feared one another, and 
for all the comfort they derived from their ill- 
gotten gains they might as well have been im- 
prisoned in a powder-house, where, at any mo- 
ment, some random spark might blow them and 
their plunder into the air together. They had 
not the traditional honor which is said to exist 
among thieves. They stole from one another, 
pud so boldly and brazenly, that the wonder is 
how even " the cohesive power of public plun- 
der " could have held (hem so long together. To 
exhibit the internal economy of this delectable as- 
sociation, it may be well to mention a few facts 
that came to light subsequently. 

The books of the gang at one time showed a 
large deficiency in the funds of the companies. 
Enormous sums of money had been disbursed by 
the Vice-president for secret service, and when 
his accounts were looked into he failed to pro- 
duce the vouchers for these expenditures. As 
miiy be imagined, there were whispers of foul 
play, and cloudy visages among the "honest 
men " who had not yet inserted their own fin- 
gers into the Company's money-till. They called 
the Vice-president to account, and appointed a 
committee of two, consisting of the President 
and Treasurer of the Company, to investigate his 
transactions. They evidently expected that the 
businesss would have, if divulged, an unsavory 
odor in the nostrils of the public ; for the whole 

gang, in solemn conclave, decided not to unrea- 
sonably demand the production of vouchers, and 
voted that the report of the President and Treas- 
urer, that the facts in the premises weie satisfac- 
tory to them, should exonerate the Vice-presi- 
dent, and end all discussion. The amount of the 
deficiency was $435,724,21, the half of which 
would seem a reasonable amount for a twelve- 
month's stealings ; but the committee reported 
the accounts of the Vice-president to be correct, 
and recommended that the whole sum should be 
charged to "suspense account." Why charged 
to suspense, and not to "profit and loss," will 
not readily appear to an ordinai'y accountant ; for 
the money was evidently not "suspended," but 
sunk, and the greater part, no doubt, sunk into 
the pockets of the Vice-president. 

They all seem to have had an insatiable maw 
for "pickings and stealings;" and of this another 
trifling incident will afford illustration. Some 
additional Congressional legislation was needed 
concerning the railroad-bridge between Council 
Bluifs and Omaha, and the engineer -in -chief, 
who had succeeded the worthy Mr. Dey, was 
telegraphed to come on to Washington to aid 
in procuring it. The leader of the gang was a 
member of Congress, but this man was omnipo- 
tent in the lobby, so he was called upon to aid 
thq "honorable gentleman "from Massachusetts. 
But he required pay for his services. He had 
recently lost $17,500 in a stock operation, which 
must be made good to him, together with what- 
ever he had to expend in securing this legislation. 
As I have said, the blacksmith was not a mean 
man — he never stood upon trifles. So he assent- 
ed to the conditions, and the needed bill was 
engineered through Congress. The engineer 
then handed in to the Company his little bill 
of $24,500, namely, $17,500, plus $7000 for 
disbursements; but the economical Vice-presi- 
dent objected to the amount — he, a moderate 
man, thouglit it exorbitant. There might have 
resulted trouble in the camp ; for he was calling 
in question a decree of the King of Spades, had 
not the engineer been a man of nimble resources. 
He soon hit upon an expedient that overcame 
the scruples of the Vice-president. The two 
were directors of the Railroad Company ; they 
called in another director, and had a meeting 
of the board, and the three worthies voted them- 
selves $126,000— namely, $82,500 to the Vice- 
president, $24,500 to the engineer, and $19,000 
to the other director, and the whole sum was 
charged to "special legal expenses." I might 
fill this page with accounts of similar transac- 
tions, but these will suffice; for they are "spec- 
imen bricks " from which may be inferred the 
character of the whole edifice of greed, and 
fraud, and unblushing peculation. 

I have given the reader an incorrect idea of 
the character of the Yankee blacksmith if he sup- 
poses that he would tamely submit to be thus 
defrauded by his confederates in iniquity. He 
did not. He was a plain man, and he heartily 
despised the shoddy respectability _of some of 
his accomplices. This, however, he might have 
borne, but not to have these greedy scoundrels 
put their hands openly into his pockets, and 
squander on fine wines, and fast horses, and har- 
lots the hard-earned proceeds of the shovel busi- 
ness. There is no record on the minutes of the 
Company of any special outbreak from the King 
of Spades ; but a simple knowledge of the facts, 
and the character of the man, are enough to show 
to a moral certainty that there must have been 
such outbreaks; and the exercise of a very little 
" historical imagination " will enable the reader 
to picture the scenes when these worthies occa- 
sionally came together at the boaid-meetings. 

These dissensions "grew fast and furiouis," 
and we soon see the Vice-president — ^he "who 
had the bag, and purloined what was put there- 
in " — about to further enact the rdle of Judas in 
betraying his associates. He threatened expos- 
ure to the Government, and — says one of his 
associates, in his sworn testimony before the Con- 
gressional Committee — " I knew him to once car- 
ry his threats so far as to write a letter and put 
it in the Post-office, directed to Elihu B. Wash- 
burne, accusing the companies of the greatest ras- 
calities. Had this letter gone forward, you can 

realize the consequences McComb said he 

could get that letter out of the Post-office, as he 
knew the clerk weli.'"" He did withdraw it from 
the Post-office. 

These "wicked partners" were evidently on 
the thin crust of a volcano, and the ground was 
shaking beneath their feet. They scented dan- 
ger in the air, and set about preparing for the 
emergency. Between the 4th of July, 1868, and 
the 19th of December of the same year, they had 
divided among themselves nine hundred and five 
per cent, dividends on the amount of the capital 
stock, in cash. Union Pacific Railroad stock and 
Union Pacific first mortgage railroad bonds. 
These profits were so enormously large, and so 
dishonestly acquired, that the conspirators took 
fright lest Congress should investigate their do- 
ings and explode this unprecedented fraud. On 
the 9th 'of December, 1867, Mr. Washburna, of 
Wisconsin, had introduced in the House of Rep- 
resentatives a bill to regulate the rate of trans- 
portation on the Union Pacific Railroad. Other 
measures hostile to the interests of the conspira- 
tors were subsequently introduced by him and 
Washburne of Illinois. These measures indicated 
that at least two members of Congress were in- 
quiring into their transactions, and at any mo- 
ment the Vice-president might make such dis- 
closures as would precipitate upon them an inves- 
tigation before the whole of the immense haul 
of illegal gain was safely brought to shore. 

The " King of Spades " was seriously alarmed. 
"He feared" (says the Report of the Congres- 
sional Committee) "that the interests of the 
road might sufi'er by adverse legislation, and 
what he desired to accomplish was to enlist 
strength and friends in Congress who would re- 
sist any encioachment upon, or interference with, 
the right and privileges already secured, and to 
that end wished to create in them an interest 
identical with his own. This purpose is clearly 
avowed in his letters to McComb, copied in the 
evidence. He says he intends to place the stock 
' where it will do most good to us.' And again, 
'We want more friends in this Congress.' In 
his letter to McComb, and also in his statement 
prepared by counsel, he gives the philosophy of 
his action, to wit: 'That he has found tliere is 
no difficulty in getting men to look after their 
own property.' The Committee are also sat- 
isfied that Mr. Ames entertained a fear that, 
when the true relations between the Credit Mo- 
bilier Company and the Union Pacific became 
generally known, and the means by which the 
great profits were expected to be hnade, were fully 
understood, there was dangei- that Congressional 
investigation and action would be invoked." This 
was the opinion of the Committee, and in this, 
no doubt, they were correct. . 

The stake was tremendous ; for the King of 
Spades had just before — August 16th, 1867 — 
signed a contract with the Raihoad Company 
for the building of 667 miles of road, on which 
the prospective profit was not less than twenty 
millions of dollars. But he was an expert chess- 
player, and his satanic friend was at his elbow, 
and prompted the movements of the game. A 
year before he had seen the necessity of having 
a body-guard of Congressmen, to ward olf any 
impending investigation. To this end he had, 
through one of his whippers-in, offered several 
members stock in the Credit Mobilier Company, 
representing that it was organized to operate in 
real estate along the line of the railroad, and 
would pay at least a hundred per cent, annual 
dividends ; but none had taken the bait, mainly, 
he thought, because they had no money to make 
the investment. Now, he would sell them the 
stock on a credit, allowing the dividends to pay 
for the principal, but still representing the profits 
as derived from real-estate transactions ; for it 
was certain these gentlemen would not touch it 
if they were told it had any connection what- 
ever with the Union Pacific Railroad, on which 
they might be called to act, the road being un- 
der the supervision of Congress. 

* See Report of Poland Committee, pape 94. The 
gentleman who testifies this held only $29,000 of Ilie 
Mobilier stock, and swears his priiflts were .1.'93,4S6; 
and he adds, in a cnmpitiining t<me, "Tliat was every 
dollar I ever mnde in the coustrnction of that road. I 
have got no money that I earued harder." 

This programme this worthy decided upon, 
and twelve of the foremost legislators in Con- 
gress, men of unsullied honor and national rep- 
utation, were selected as a body-guard by this 
rascally Yankee blacksmith, who, not content 
with plundering the country of three times as 
much money as Tweed plundered New York, 
sought to shield himself from detection behind 
the good name and high position of men who 
would have been the fii-st to bring him to justice 
had they known the true character of his opera- 
tions. How successful he was the reader may 
learn from a reading of the testimony given be- 
fore the Poland Committee, which is in every 
public library. 

The danger, for the time, went by ; but soon 
another squabble broke out among the conspii^ 
ators over the division of the booty, which now 
would seem to have been gathered safely into 
their pockets. The qnan-el, after a few yeai-s, 
got into the courts, whence it reached the ears 
of Congress, and the dreaded investigation came, 
and filled the country with scandal. Many men 
high in position were implicated, and others, nqt 
guilty, had their good names befouled, simply be- 
cause they had come in contact with the black- 
smith ; for who can tonch pitch and not be de- 
filed ? One of those who came in contact with 
him was James A. Garfield, whose life I have 
imperfectly sketched in the preceding pages. 
The following is his own statement of his con- 
nection with this man, written at the time, and 
it is entitled to a careful reading by all who feel 
at all interested in this subject. 



The events of the late winter recall forcibly a 
declaration, made more than twenty-two centn- 
ries ago, by a man who possessed a profound 
knowledge of human nature and society. In 
answering a grave chaise made against his pub- 
lic condnct, he said he did not sl^d on equal 
gronnd with his accusers, for the reason that 
people listen to accusation more readily than 
to defence. This remark has sometimes been 
thought cynical and unjust ; but there is much 
In our recent history that gives it force. 

In no period of the political life of this coun- 
try has the appetite for scandal been keener, or 
its exercise less restrainedj than during the last 
year. One of our most brilliant and influential 
journalists, in an address delivered a few days 
since to a convention of his professional breth- 
ren in Indiana, while speaking of the present 
tone of the Press, used this emphatic langnao-o : 

The law presumes a man to be innocent until he is 
proved guilty. 

The Press, not merely usurping the functions of the 
law In arraigning a man whom tee constable has no 
warrant to arrest, goes still further, and assumes him, 
})n'n»o fitci», to be guilty. After many weeks, if the 
case of the accnsea comes to trial, he is acquitted ; 
the law makes him an honest man ; but there is the 
newspaper whi<^ has condemned him, and cannot, 
with a dozen retractions, erase the impression left 
and the damage done by a single paragraph. 

It might not be becoming in a layman, who 
feels in his own case the force of this paragraph, 
to volunteer such a declaration ; but it is quite 
proper for him to testify to its truth when thus 
forcibly stated. 

This paragraph from the address of the jour- 
nalist finds a striking illustration in the history 
of the subject now under review. 

In the autumn of 1872, during the excitement 
of the Presidential campaign, charges of the 
most serious character were made against ten 
or twelve persons who were then, or had re- 
cently been. Senators and Representatives in 
Congress, to the effect that, five years ago, they 
had sold themselves for sundry amounts ef 
stock of the Credit Mobilier Company, and 
bonds of the Pacific Railroad Company. The 
price at which different members were alleged 
to have bartered away their personal honor 
and their official influence was definitely set 
down in the newspapers; their guilt was as- 
sumed, and the public vengeance was invoke4 
not only upon them, but also upon the party to 
which most of them belonsed. 



By a resolution of the House, introduced by 
one of the accused members, and adopted on 
the first day of the late session, an investigation 
of these charges was ordered. The parties them- 
selves and many other witnesses were examined ; 
the records of the Credit Mobilier Company and 
of the Pacific Railroad Company were produced; 
and the results of the investigation were report- 
ed to the House on the 18th of February. The 
report, with the accompanying testimony, was 
brought up in the House for consideration on 
the mh of "February, and the discussion was 
continued until the subject was finally disposed 
of, three days before the close of the session. 
The investigation was scarcely begun before it 
was manifest that the original charge, that stock 
was given to membere as a consideratiop for 
their votes, was wholly abandoned, there being 
no proof whatever to support it. 

But the charge assumed a new foi-m, namely . 
That the stock had beeu sold to members at a 
price known to be greatly below its actual val- 
ue, for the purpose of securing their legislative 
influence in favor of those who were managing 
and manipulating the Pacific Railroad for their 
own private advantage, and to the injury both 
of the trust and of the United States. Eight 
of those a^inst whom charges had been made 
in the public Press, myself among the number, 
were still members of the House of Representa- 
tives, and were specially mentioned in the re- 
port. The committee recommended the adop- 
tion of resolutions for the expulsion of Messrs. 
Ames and Brooks, the latter on charges in no 
way connected with Mr. Ames or Sie other 
members mentioned. They recommended the 
expulsion of Mr. Ames for an attempt to influ- 
ence the votes and decisions of members of Con- 
gress by interesting them in the stock of the 
Credit Mobilier, and, through it, in the stock of 
the Union Pacific Railroad. They found that 
though Mr. Ames in no case disclosed his pur- 
pose to these members, yet he hoped so to enlist 
their interest that they would be inclined to fa- 
vor any legislation in aid of the Pacific Railroad 
and its interest — and that he declared to the 
managers of the Credit Mobilier Company at 
the time that he was thus using the stock 
which had been placed in his hands by the 

Concerning the members to whom he had 
sold, or offered to sell, the stock, the committee 
say that they " do not find that Mr. Ames, in his 
negotiations with the persons abr ve-named, en- 
tered into any detail of the relations between 
the Credit Mobilier Company and the Union 
Pacific Company, or gave them any specific in- 
formation as to the amount of dividends they 
would be likely to receive, farther than has been 
already stated [viz., that in some cases he had 

been guaranteed a profit of 10 per cent.] 

They do not find as to the members of the pres- 
ent House above-named that they were aware 
of the object of Mr. Ames, or that they had any 
other purpose in taking this stock than to make 

a profitable investment They have not been 

able to find that any of these members of 
Congress have been affected in their official ac- 
tion in consequence of interest in the Credit 
Mobilier stock They do not find that ei- 
ther of the above-named gentlemen, in contracts 
lug witli Mr. Ames, had any corrupt motive or 
purpose himself, or was aware Mr. Ames had 
any. Nor did either of them suppose he was 
guilty of any impropriety or even indelicacy in 
becoming a purchaser of this stock." And, 
finally, that "the committee find nothing in 
the conduct or motives of either of these mem- 
bers, in taking this stock, that calls for any rec- 
ommendation by the committee of the House." 
(See pp. viii., ix., x.) 

In the case of each of the six members jnst re- 
ferred to, the committee sum up the results of 
the testimony, and from that summary the con- 
clusions above quoted are drawn. In r^;ard to 
me, the committee find: "That in December, 
1867, or January, 1868, 1 agreed to purchase ten 
shares of Credit Mobilier stock of Mr. Ames for 
$1000, and the accrued interest from the pre- 
vious July ; that in June, 1868, Mr. Ames paid 
me a check on the Sergeant-at-arms of the 
House for $829, as a balance of dividends on 
the stock, above the purchase price and accrued 
interest ; and that thereafter there were no pay- 
ments or other transactions between us j or any 
communication on the subject until the mvesti- 
gation began in December last." (See Report, 
p. vii.) 

I took the first opportunity offered by the 
completion of public business to call the atten- 
tion of the House to the above summary of the 


testimony in reference to me. On the 3d of 
March I made the following remarks, in the 
House of Representatives, as recorded in the 
C<mg7'essional Globe for that day : 

Mr. GARFiELn, of Ohio. — I rise to a personal expla- 
nation. During the late investigntiou by the com- 
mittee of which the gentleman Trom Vermout [Mr. 
Poland] was the chairman, I pnrsaed what seemed to 
be the plain path of duty— to keep silence except when 
I was called upon to testify before the committee. 
When testimony was given which appeared to be in 
couftict with mine, I waited, ezpeptmg to be called 
again if anything was needed from me in reference 
to these discrepancies. I was not recalled ; and when 
the committee eabmitted their report to the House, a 
considerable portion of the testimony relating to me 
had not been printed. 

In the discussion which followed here I was pre- 
pared to submit some additional facts and cousidera- 
tious in case my own conduct came up for considera- 
tion In the House; bnt the whole subject was con- 
cluded without any direct reference to myself, and 
since then the whole lime of the Honse has been oc- 
cnpied with the public business. I now desire to 
make a single remark on this subject in the hearing 
of the House. Though the committee acquitted me 
of all charges of corruption in action or intent, yet 
there is in the report a summing np of the facts in 
relation to me which I respectfully protest is not war- 
rimted by the testimony. I say tnia with the utmost 
respect for the committee, and without intending any 
renection upon them. 

I cannot now enter npon the discussion; bnt I pro- 
pose, before long, to make a statement to the pabllc, 
setting forth more fully the grounds of my dissent 
from the summing up to which I have referred. I 
will only say now that the testimony which I gave 
before the committee is a statement of the facte ia 
the case as I have understood them from the begin- 
ning. More than three years ago, on at least two oo- 
casionSi^I stated the case to two personal friends snb- 
stantially as I stated it before the committee, and I 
here add that nothing in my condnct or conversation 
has at any time been in conflict with my testimony. 
For the present I desire only to place on record thja 
declaration and notice. 

In pursuance of this notice, I shall consider 
BO much of the history of the Credit Mobilier 
Company as has any relation to myself. To 
render the discussion intelli^ble, I wiU first 
state briefly the offences which that corpora- 
tion committed, as found by the committees of 
the House. 


The Credit Mobilier Company is a corpora- 
tion organized under the laws of the State of 
Pennsylvania, and authorized by its charter to 
purchase and sell varions kinds of securities, and 
to make advances of money and credit to ndl- 
road and oth^r improvement companies. Its 
charter describes a class of business which, if 
honestly conducted, any citizen may properly 
engage in. 

On the 16th of August, 1867, Mr. Oakes Ames 
made a contract with the Union Pacific Rail- 
road Company to build six hundred and sixty- 
seven miles of road, from the one hundredth 
meridian westward, at rates ranging from $42,000 
to $96,000 per mile. For executing this contract 
he was to receive in the aggregate $47,935,000 
in cash, or in the securities of the company. 

On the I5th of October, 1867, a triple contract 
was made between Mr. Ames of the first part, 
seven persons as trustees of the second part, and 
the Credit Mobilier Company of the third part, 
by the terms of which the Credit Mobilier Com- 
pany was to advance money to build the road, 
and to receive thereon 7 per cent, interest, and 
2)4 per cent, commission; the seven trustees 
were to execute the Ames contract, and the 
profits thereon were to be divided among them, 
and such other stockholders of the Credit Mo- 
bilier Company as should deliver to them an ii^ 
revocable proxy to vote the stock of the Union 
Pacific held by them. The principal stockhold- 
ers of the Credit Mobilier Company were also 
holders of a majority of the stock of the Union 
Pacific Railroad. 

On the face of this agreement, the part to be 
performed by the Credit Mobilier Company, as 
a corporation, was simple and unobjectionable. 
It was to advance money to the contractors, and 
to receive therefor about ten per cent, as inter- 
est and commission. This explains how it was 
that in a suit in the courts of Pennsylvania, in 
1870, to collect the State tax on the profits of 
the company, its managers swore that the com- 
pany had never declared dividends to an aggre- 
gate of more than twelve present. The eom- 
gany proper did not receive the profits of the 
iakes Ames contract. The profits were paid 
only to the seven trustees, and to such stock- 
holders of the Credit Mobilier as had delivered 
to thein the proxies on their Pacific Railroad 
stock. In other words, a ring inside the Credit 



Mobilier obtained the control both of that cor- 
poration and of the profits of the Ames con- 

By a private agreement made in writing, Octo- 
ber 16th, 1867, the day after the triple contract 
was signed, the seven trustees pledged them- 
selves to each other so to vote all the Pacific 
Eailroad stock which they held in their own 
right or by proxy, as to keep in power all the 
members of the then existing board of directors 
of the railroad company not appointed by the 
President of the United States, or such other 
persons as said board should nominate. By 
this agreement, the election of a majority of 
the directors was wholly within the power of 
the seven trustees. From all this it resulted 
that the Ames contract, and the triple agree- 
ment made in October, amounted, in fact, to a 
contract made by seven leading stockholders of 
the Pacific Railroad Company with themselves ; 
so that the men who fixed the price at which 
the road was to he built were the same men 
who would receive the profits of the contract. 

The wrong in this transactiou consisted, first, 
in the fact that the stockholding directors of 
the Pacific Railroad, being the guardians of a 
great public ti-ust, contracted with themselves ; 
and, second, that they paid themselves an ex- 
orbitant price for the work to he done-i-a price 
which virtually brought into their own posses- 
sion, as private individuals, almost all the prop- 
erty of the railroad company. The six hundred 
and sixty-seven miles covered by the contract 
included one hundred and thirty-eight miles al- 
ready completed, the profits on which inured to 
the benefit of the contractors. (See Report of 
Credit Mobiller Committee No. 2, p. xiii.) 

The Credit Mobiller Company had already 
been engaged in various enterprises before the 
connection with the Ames contract. George 
Francis Train had once been the principal own- 
er of its franchises, and it had owned some West- 
ern lands (Wilson's Report, pp. 497-'8) ; but its 
enterprises had not been very remunerative, and 
its 'Stock had not been worth par. The triple 
contract of October, 1867, gave it at once con- 
siderable additional value. It should be borne 
in mind, however, that the relations of the Cred- 
it Mobiller Conipany to the seven tmstees, to 
the Oakes Ames contract, and to the Pacific 
Railroad Company, were known to but few per- 
sons until long afterward, and that it was for 
the interest, of the parties to keep them secret. 
Indeed, nothing was known of it to the general 
public until the facts were. brought out in the 
recent investigations. 

In view of the facts above stated, it is evident 
that a purchaser of such shares of Credit Mo- 
biller stock as were brought under the opera- 
tion of the triple contract would be a sharer in 
the profits derived by that arrangement from 
the assets of the Pacific Railroad, a large part 
of which consisted of bonds and lands granted 
to the road by the United States. The holding 
of such stock by a member of Congress would 
depend for its moral qualities wholly upon the 
fact whether he did or did not know of the ar- 
rangement out of which the profits would come. 
If he knew of the fraudulent arrangement by 
which the bonds and lands of thb United States 
delivered to the Union Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany for the purpose of constructing its road, 
■were to be paid out at enormously extravagant 
rates, and the proceeds to be paid out as divi- 
dends to a ring of stockholders made tlie Credit 
Mobiller Company, he could not, with any pro- 
priety, hold such stock, or agree to hold it, or 
any of its proceeds. And for a member of Con- 
gress, knowing the facts, to hold under advise- 
ment a proposition to buy this stock, would be 
morally as wrong as to, hold it and receive the 
profits upon it. If it was morally wrong to 
purchase it, it was morally wrong to hesitate 
whether to purchase it or not. 

I put the case on the highest ethical ground, 
and ask that this rule be applied, in all its se- 
verity, in judging of my relation to this subject. 

PEOPosrriONS to be discussed. 

The committee founi, as already stated, that 
none of the six members to whom Mr. Ames 
sold, or proposed to sell, the stock, knew of 
this arrangement. I shall, however, discuss the 
subject only in so far as relates to me, and shall 
undertalie to establish three propositions : 

First. That I never purchased, nor ^reed to 
purchase, the stock, nor received any or its divi- 

Second. That though an offer was made, which 
I had some time under advisement, to sell me 
$1000 worth of the stock, I did not then know, 
nor had I the means of knowing, the real con- 
ditions with which the stock was connected, or 

the method by which Its profits were to be 

Third. That my testimony before the com- 
mittee is a statement of the facts as I have al- 
ways tinderstood them ; and that neither before 
the committee nor elsewhere has there been, on 
my part, any prevarication or evasion on the 
subject. • 


My testimony was delivered before the in- 
vestigating committee on the 14th of January. 
That portion which precedes the cross-exam- 
ination I had written out soon after the com- 
mittee was appointed. I quote it, with the 
cross-examination, in full, as found recorded on 
pp. 128 to 131 : 

Washington, D. C, January 14tU, 1873. 

J, A. Gaefisld, a member of the United States 
Hod^e of Hepreseutatlves from the State of Ohio, 
having been duly sworn, made the , following state- 
ment : 

The first I ever heard of the Credit Mobilier was 
some time in 1866. or 1S6T— I cannot flx the date- 
when George Francis Train called on me and said he 
was organiising a company to be known as the Credit 
Mol)ilier of America, to be formed on the model of 
the Credit Mobilier of France ; that the object of the 
company was to purchase lands and build houses 
along the line of the Pacific Railroad at points where 
cities and villages were likely to spring up; that he 
had no doubt that money thns invested would double 
or treble itself each year ; that subscriptions were lim- 
ited to $1000 each, and he wished me to subscribe. He 
showed me a long list of subBcribere, among them Mr. 
Oakes Ames, to whom heA-eferred me for further in- 
formation concerning the enterprise. I answered that 
I had not the money to spare, and if I had I would not 
subscribe without knowing more about the proposed 
organization. Mr. Train left me, saying be would hold 
a place open for me, and hoped I would yet conclude 
to subscribe. The same day I asked Mr. Ames what 
lie thought of the enterprise. He expressed the opin- 
ion that the investment would be safe aud profitable. 

I heard nothing further-on the subject for a year or 
more, and it wa^ almost forgotten, when some time, I 
shonld say during the long session of ] SOS, Mr. Ames 
spoke of it again ; said the company had organized, 
was doing well, and he thought would soon pay large 
dividends. He said that some of the stock had been 
left, or was to be left, in his hands to sell, and I could 
take the amounti which Mr. Train bad offered me by 

?ayirig the $1000 and the accrued interest. He said if 
was not able to pay for it then, he would hold it for 
me till I could pay, or until some of the dividends 
were peyable. I told him I would consider the mat- 
ter; but would not agree to take any stock until I 
knew, from an examiuation of the charter and the 
conditions of the subscription, he extent to which I 
should become pecuniarily liable. He said he was 
not sure, but thought a stockholder would be liable 
only for the par value of his stock ; that he had not 
the stock and papers with him, but would have them 
' after awhile. 

From the case, as presented, I should probably have 
taken the stock if I had been satisfied in regard to the 
, extent of pecuniary liability. Thus the matter rested 
for some time, I think until the fidlowiug year. Dur- 
ing that interval I understood that there were divi- 
dends due amounting to nearly three times the par 
value of the stock. But, in the mean time, I had heard 
that the company was involved in some controversy 
with the Pacific Railroad, and that Mr. Ames's right 
to sell the stock was denied. When I next saw Mr. 
Ames I told him I had concluded not to take the 
stock. There the matter ended, so far as I was con- 
cerned, and I had no further knowledge of the com- 
pany's operations until the subject began to be dis- 
cussed in the newspapers last fall. 

Nothing was ever said to me by Mr. Train or Mr. 
Ames to indicate or imply that the Credit Mobilier 
was, or could be, in any way connected with the leg- 
islation of Congress for the Pacific Railroad or for 
any other purpose. Mr. Ames never gave, nor offer- 
ed to give, me any stock or other valuable thing as & 
gift. I once asked, and obtained from him, and after- 
ward repaid to hira.a loan'ofJSOO; that amouut is the 
only valuable thing I ever received from or delivered 
to him. 

I never owned, received, or agreed to receive, any 
stock of the Credit Mobilier or of the Union Pacific 
Railroad, nor any dividends or profits arising from 
either of them. 

By the Cuaitiman: 

Question. Had this loan you speak of any connec- 
tion in any way with your conversation in regard to 
the Credit Mobilier stockf— Answer. No connection 
in any way except in regard to the time of payment. 
Mr. Ames stated to me that if I concluded to subscribe 
for the Credit Mobilier stock, I could allow the loan 
to remain until the payment on that was adjusted. I 
'never regarded it as connected in any other way with 
the stock enterprise. 

Q. Do you remember the time of that transaction ? 
—A. I do not remember it precisely. I should think 
it was in the session of 1868. I had been to Europe 
the fall before, and was in debt, and borrowed several 
suras of money at different times and from different 
persons. This loan from Mr. Ames was not at his 
instance. I made the request myself. I think I had 
asked one or two persons before him for the loan. 

Q. Have you any knowledge in reference to any 
dealings of Mr. Ames with any gentleman in Con- 
gress in reference to the stock of the Credit_Mobilier ? 
— ^A. No, sir ; I have not. I had no knowledge that 

Mr. Ames had ever tallied with anybody hnt myself. 
It was a subject I gave but little attention to ; in fact, 
inauy of the details had almost passed out of my mind 
until they were called up in the late campaign. 

By Mr. B LACK. - 

Q. Did you say you refused to take the stock sim- 
ply because there was a lawsuit about itf— A. No; 
not exactly that. I do not remember any other rea- 
son which I gave to Mr. Ames than that I did not wish 
to take stock in anything that would involve contro- 
versy. I think I gave him no other reason than that. 

Q. When jfou ascertained the relation that this com- 
pany had with the Union Pacific Railroad Company, 
and whehce its profits were to be derived, would you 
have considered that a sufficient reason foi' declining 
it irrespective of other cousiderations ? — A. It would 
have been, as the case was afterward stated. 

Q. At the time you talked with Mr. Ames, before 
yon rejected the proposition, you did not know whence 
the profits of the company were to be derived f — A. I 
did not. I do not know that Mr. Ames withheld, in- 
tentionally, from me any information. I had de- 
rived my original knowledge of the organization 
of the company from Mr. Train. He made quite an 
elaborate statement of its purposes, aud I proceeded 
in subsequent conversations upon the supposition that 
the organization was unchanged. I ought to say for 
myself, as well as for Mr. Ames, that he never said any 
word to me that indicated the least desire to influence 
my legislative action in any way. If he'had any such 
purpose, he certainly never said anything to me which 
would indicate it. 

Q. Ton know now, and have known for a long time, 
that Mr. Ames was deeply interested in the legislation 
on this subject?— A. i snppbsed that he was largely 
interested in the Union Pacific Railroad. I have 
heard various statements to that effect. I cannot say 
I had any such information of my own knowledge. 

Q. You mean that he did not electioneer with you, 
or solicit your vote ?— A. Certainly not. None of the 
conversations I ever had with him had any reference 
to such legislation. 

By Mr. Meretok : 

Q. Have you any knowledge of any other member 
of Congress beiii^ concerned in the Credit Mobilier 
stock f — A. No, sir ; I have not. 

Q. Or any stock in the Union Pacific Railroad f — A. 
I have not. I can say to the committee that I never 
saw, I believe, in my life a certificate of stock of the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company, and I never saw any 
certificate of stock of the Credit Mobilier, until Mr. 
Brooks exhibited one, a few days ago, in the House 
of Representatives. 

Q. Were any dividends ever tendered to you on the 
stock of the Credit Mobilier upon the supposition that 
yon were to be a subscriber? — A. No, sir. 

Q. This loan of $300 you have repaid, if I understood 
you correctly ?— A. Yes, sir. 

By Mr. MoCbakt : 

Q. You never examined the charter of the Credit 
Mobilier to see what were its objects? — ^A. No, sir; I 
never saw it. 

Q. If I understood you, you did not know that the 
Credit Mobilier had any connection with the Union 
Pacific Railroad Company ?— A. I understood from 
the statement of Mr. Train that its objects were con- 
nected with the lauds of the Union Pacific Railroad 
Company and the developihent of settlements along 
that roan: but that it had any relation to the Union 
Pacific Railroad, other than that, I did not know. I 
think I did hear, also, that the company was Investing 
some of its earnings in the bonds of the road. 

Q. He stated it was for the purpose of purchasing 
laud and building bouses? — A. That was the state- 
ment of Mr. Train. I think he said in that connec- 
tion thair he had already been doing something of 
that kind at Omaha, or was going to do it. ^ 

Q. You did not know that the object was to build 
the Union Pacific Railroad ? — A. No, sir ; I did not. 

This is the ease as I understand it, and as I 
have always understood it. In reviewing it, 
after all that has been said and written during 
the past winter, there are no substantial changes 
which I could now make — except to render a 
few points more definite. Few men can be cer- 
tain that they give with absolute correctness 
the details of conversations and transactions 
after a lapse of five years. Subject to this lim- 
itation, I have no doubt of the accuracy of my 
remembrance concerning this transaction. 

From tills testimony it will be seen that when 
Mr. Ames offered to sell me the stock in 1867-'68, 
my only knowledge of the character and objects 
of the Credit Mobilier Company was obtained 
from Mr. Train, at least as early as the winter 
of 1866-'67, long before the company had be-' 
come a party to the construction contracti It 
has been said that I am mistaken in tliiuking it 
was the Credit Mobilier that Mr. Train offered 
me in 1866-'67. I think I am not. Mr. Durant, 
in explaining his connection with the Credit 
Mobilier Company, says (pp. 169, 170), 

I sent Mr. Train to Philadelphia. We wanted it 
(the Credit Mobilier) for a stock operation, but we 
could not agree what was to be done with it. Mr. 
Train proposed to go on an expanded scale, bnt I 
abandoned it. I think Mr. Train got some subscrip- j 
tions ; what they were I do not know. 

It has been said that it is absurd to suppose 
that Intelligent men, familiar with public affairs, 

did not understand all about the relation of the 
Credit Mobiliei- Compauy to the PaeiHc Rail- 
road Company. It is a sufttelent answer to say 
that, until the present winter, few men either in 
or out of Congress ever understood it ; aud it 
was for the iuterest of those in the management 
of that arrangement to pi'eveut these facts from 
heini): known. This will appear from the testi- 
mony of Hon. J. F. Wilson, who purchased ten 
shares of the stock in 1868. In the spring of 
1869, he was called upon professionally to give 
an, opinion as to the rigjit of holdei-s of Paoiflc 
Railroad stock to Tote their own shares, not- 
witlistanding the proxy tliey had giveu -to the 
seven trustees. To enable him to undei-staud 
the case, a copy of the triple contract was placed 
in his hands. He says (p. 218) : 

Down to the time these papers were placed In my 
hands, I kuew almost nuthins' of the or^giinizatiun 
and details of the Credit Hobifier, or the value of its 
"stock, but then saw that here was abundant grouud 
for Flitnre trooble and Utigatiou; aud, as oue of the 
I'ssnlts, sold out my iulerest. 

' And again (p. 316) : 

. Q. Do yon, or did you know, at the time yon had 
this nezoilaliou with Mr. Ames, the value of the Cred- 
it Mnbilier stock? — A. I did not ; aud I wish to state 
here, iu regard to that, that it was a very difficult 
thing to ascertain what was the value of the stock. 
Those who, as I say in my statement, possessed the 
secrets of the Credit Mobilier, kept them to them- 
selves ; and I never was able to get auy definite in- 
fbrmatiou as to what the value of the stock was. 

When, in the winter of 1867-'68, Mr. Ames 
proposed to sell me some of the stock, I rcMrd- 
ed it as a mere repetition of the offer made by 
Mr. Train more than a year before. The com- 
pany was the same, and the amount offered me 
was the same. Mr. Ames knew it had formerly 
bocu offered me, for I had then asked him his 
opinion of such an investment; and having un- 
derstood the objects of the company, as stated 
by Mr. Train, I did not inquire further on that 

There could not be the slightest impropriety 
in taking the stock, had the objects of the com- 
pany been such as Mr. Train represented them 
to me. The only question on which I then hes- 
itated was that of the personal pecuniary liabil- 
ity attaching to a subscription ; and, to settle 
that question, I asked to see the charter, and 
the conditions on wliich the stock were based. 
I have no doubt Mr. Ames expected I would 
subscribe. But more than a year passed with- 
out further discussion of the subject. The pa- 
pers were not brought, and the purchase was 
never made. 

In the winter of 1869-'70 I received the first 
intimation I ever had of the real nature of the 
connection between the Credit Mobilier Com- 
pany aud the Pacific Railroad Company, in a 
private conversaUon with the Hon. J. S. Black, 
of Pennsylvania. Finding in the course of that 
conversation that he was familiar with the his- 
tory of the enterprise, I told him all I knew 
about the matter, and informed him of the of- 
fer that had been made me. He expressed the 
opinion that the managers of the Credit Mobi- 
lier were attempting to defraud the Pacific Rail- 
road Company, and informed me that Mr. Ames 
was pretending to have sold stock to members 
of Congress for the purpose of influencing their 
action in any legislation that might arise on the 

Though I had neither done nor said anything 
which placed me under any obligation to take 
the stock, I at once informed Mr. Ames that if 
he was still holding the offer open to me he need 
do so no longer, for I would not take the stock. 
This I did immediately after the conversation 
with Judge Black, which, according to his own 
recollection as well as mine, was early in the 
winter of 1869-'70. 

One circumstance has given rise to a painful 
conflict of testimony between Mr. Ames and my- 
self. I refer to the loan of $300. Among the 
various criticisms that have been made on this 
subject, it is said to be a suspicious circum- 
stance that I should have borrowed so small a 
sum of money from Mr. Ames about this time. 
As stated in "my testimony, I had just returned 
from Europe, only a few days before the session 
began, and the excuses of the trip had brought 
me short of funds. I might have alluded in the 
same connection to the fact that, before going 
abroad, I had obtained money from a banker in 
New York, turning over to him advanced drafts 
for several months of my congressional salary 
when it should be due. And needing a small 
sum, early in the session, for current expenses, 
I asked it of Mr. Ames, for the i-eason that he 
had volunteered to put me in the way of making 


what he thought would be a profitable invest- 
ment. Ho gave me the money, asking for no 
receipt, but saying at the time that if I con- 
cluded to take the stock, we would settle both 
matters together. I am not able to fix the ex- 
act date of the loan, but it was probably in Jan- 
uary, 1868. 

Mr. Ames seemed to have forsfotten this cir- 
cumstance until I mentioned it to him after the 
investigation began ; for he said in his first tes- 
timony (p. 28) that he liad forgotten that he had 
let me have any money. I neglected to pay him 
this money until after the conversation with 
Judge Black, partly because of my pecuniary 
embarrassments, and partly because no conclu- 
sion had been reache'd in regard to the purcliase 
of the stock. When I repaid him I took no re- 
ceipt, as I had given none at the first. 

Mr. Ames said once or twice, in the course of 
his testimony, that I did not repay it, altbougli 
he says in regard to it, on page S58, that he does 
not know, and cannot rememiber. 


On these differences of recollection between 
Mr. Ames aud myself, it is not so important to 
show that my statement is the correct one, as to 
show that I have made it strictly in accordance 
witli my undei'standing of the facts. And this 
I am able to show by proof entirely independent 
of my own testimony. 

In the spring of 1868, Hon. J. P. Robison, of 
Cleveland, Ohio, was my guest here in Washing- 
ton, and spent nearly two weeks with me during 
the trial of the impeachment of Andrew John- 
son. There has existed between us an intimate 
acquaintance of long standing, and I have often 
consulted him on business affaii-s. On meeting 
liim since the adjournment of Congress, he in- 
forms me that while he was visiting me on the 
occasion referred to, I stated to him the offer of 
Mr. Ames, and asked hitn his opinion of it. The 
following letter, just received from him, states 
the conversation as he remembers it : 

Clflvel&nd, Obio, May ist, 1S7S. 

DxAB GsirtBAi.,— I send yon the facts concerning a 
conversation which 1 had with you (I think in the 
spring of 186S) wheu'I was stopping iu Washington 
for some days, as yonr guest, during the trial of the 
impeachment of Pre:^ident Johnson. While there, 
you told me that Mr. Ames had offered you a chance 
to invest a small amount iu a company that was to 
operate iu lands aud buildings along the Pacific Kail- 
road, which he (Ames) said would oe a good thing. 
You asked me what 1 thought of it as a business prop- 
osition ; that yon had not determined what you would 
do about it ; and suggested to me to talk with Ames, 
and form ray own judgment, aud if 1 thought well 
enough of it to advance the money and buy the stock 
on joint account with you, and let yon pay me interest 
on the one-half, I could do so. But I did not think 
well of the proposition as a business enterprise, and 
did not talk wiu> Ames on the subject. 

After this talk, having at flret told yon I would give 
the subject thought, aud perhaps talk with Ames, I 
told you one evening that I did not think well of the 
proposition, and had not spoken to Ames on the sub- 
ject. Yours, truly, 

Hob. J. A. 6Amiisi.D. 

I subjoin two other letters, which were writ- 
ten about the time the report of the committee 
was made, and to which I refer in my remarks 
made on the 3d March in the House of Repre- 
sentatives. The first is from a citizen of the 
town where I reside ; and the time of the con- 
versation to which it alludes was, as near as I 
can remember, iu the fell of 1868, during the re- 
cess of Congress : 

Hlnim, OUo, Fabrusiy ISth, 1S7S. 

Dbau Sir, — It may be relevant to the question at 
issue between yourseir and Mr. Cakes Ames, in the 
Credit Mobilier investigation, for me to state that 
three or four years ago, in a private conversation, yon 
made a statement to me involving the substance of 
vour testimony before the Poland committee, as pub- 
lished in the newspapers. The material points of 
yonr statement were these : 

That yon had been spoken to by George Francis 
Train, who offered yon some shares of the Credit Mo- 
bUier stock ; that you told him that yon had no mon- 
ey to invest in stocks ; that snbseqnently you had a 
conversation in relation to the matter with Mr. Ames; 
that Ames offered to carry the stock for you until you 
could pay for it, if you cared to buy it; and that yon 
had told him in that case perhaps yon wonld take it, 
but wonld not agree to do so until you had inquired 
more flilly into the matter. Such an arrangement as 
this was made, Ames affreeing to carry the stock un- 
til you should decide. In this way the matter stood, 
as I understood it, at the time of our conversation. 
My nnderstandiug was distinct that you had not ac- 
cepted Mr. Ame^s proposition, but that the shares 
were still held at your option. 

You stated, fUruier, that the company was to oper- 
ate in real property along the line of the Paciflc road. 
Perhaps I should add that this conversation, which I 
have always remembered very distinctly, took place 
here in Hiram. I have remembered the conversation 


the more distinctly ftom the circumstances that gave 
rise to it. Having been intimately acquainted with 
yon for twelve or fifteen years, and having hud a con- 
siderable knowledge of yonr pecnniary afiairs, I asked 
yon how you were getting on, and especially whether 
you were managing to reduce yonr debts. In reply 
you gave me a detailed statement of yonr affaire, aim 
concluded by saying you had had some stoclc offered 
you, which, if you lionght it, would probably make 
you some money. You then proceeded to state the 
case, lis I have stated it above. 

1 canUot fix tb6 time of this conversation more defi- 
nitely than to say it was certainly three, and probably 
four, years ago. Very truly yours, 


President of Hiram College. 
Hon. J. A. O&BPiBLD, 


The other letter was addressed to the Speaker 
of the House, and is as follows : 

PhiliidDlphl«,Febniiiry 16th, 1S73. 

My dear Sid, — From the beginning of the iuvesti- 

fation concerning Mr. Ames's use of the Credit Mo- 
vlier, I believed that General Garfield was free from 
all guilty connection with that hnsineoB. This opin- 
ion was founded not merely on my confidence in his 
integrity, but on some special knowledge of his case. 
I may have told yon all about it in conversation, but 
I desire now to repeat it by way of reminder. 

I assert unhesitatingly that, whatever General Gar- 
field may have done or forborne to do, he acted In pro- 
found Ignorance of the nature and character of the 
thing: which Mr. Ames was proposing to sell. He had 
not the slightest suspicion that he was to be taken 
into a ring organized for the purpose of defrauding 
the public; nor did he know that the stock was in 
auy manner connected with anything which came, or 
could come, within the legislative jurisdiction of Con- 
gress. The case against him lacks the scienter which 
alone constitutes guilt. 

In the winter of 1869-'Ta I told General Garfield of 
the fact that his name was ou Ames's list ; that Ames 
charged him with being one of his distributees ; ex- 
plained to him the character, origin, and objects of 
the Credit Mobilier; pointed out the connection, it 
had with' congressional legislation, and showed him 
how impossible it was for a member of Congress to 
hold stock in it withont bringing his piivate interests 
in conflict with his pnblic duty. That all this was to 
him a perfectly new revelation I am as sure as I caa 
be of such a fact, or of any fact which is capable of 
being proved only by moral circumstances. He told 
me then the whole story of TrMU's offer to him and 
Ames's subsequent solicitation, and his own action in 
the premises, much as he details it to the committee. 
I do not undertake to reproduce the conversation, but 
the effect of it all was to convince me thoroughly that' 
when he listened to Ames he was perfectly uncon- 
scious of anything evil. I watched carefnlly every 
word that fell from him on this point, and did uot re- 
gard his narrative of the transaction in other respects- 
with much interest, because iu my view everything 
else was insignificant. I did not care whether he had 
made a bargain technically binding or not ; his integ- 
rity depended upon the question whether he acted 
with his eyes open. If he had known the true char- 
acter of the proposition made to him he wonld not 
have endured it, much less embraced it. 

Now, couple this with Mr. Ames's admission that 
he gave no explanation whatever of the matter to 
General Garfield ; then reflect that rot a particle of 
proof exists to show that he learned anything about 
it previous to his conversation with me, and 1 think 
yon will say that it is altogether uujust to put him on 
the list of those who knowingly and wilmlly joined 
the fraudulent association in question. 

J. S. BuoK. 

Hon. J. O. Bl.AlNa, 

Sp«iikflr of tbe House of KepreseDtaUves. 

To these may be added the fiict, recently pub- 
lished by Colonel Donn Piatt, of this city, that 
in the winter of 1869-'70 he had occasion to look 
into the history of the Credit Mobilier Company, 
and found the same state of fects concerning my 
connection with it as are set forth in the letters 
quoted above. 

Whether my understanding of the facts is cor- 
rect or not, it is manifest from the testimony 
given above that, in the spring of 1868, and in 
the autumn of that year, and again in the win- 
ter of 1869, when I could have no motive to mis- 
represent the facts, I stated tbe case to these 
gentlemen substantially as it is stated in jny 
testimony before the committee. 


But it has been charged in the newspapers 
that, during the Presidential campaign, I denied 
any knowledge of the subject, or at least that I 
allowed the impression to be made upon the 
pnblic mind that I knew nothing of it. To this 
I answer, I wrote no letter on the subject, and 
made no statement in any pnblic address, except 
to deny, in the broadest terms^ the only charge 
then made, that I had been bribed by Oakes 

When tlie charges first appeared in the news- 
papers I was in Montana Territory, and heard 
nothing of them nntil my return on tlie 13th or 
14th of September. On the following day I met 
General Boynton, correspondent of the (Sncinr 



noli Gazette.ani related to him briefly wliat I 
remembered about the oflfer to sell the stock. 
I told him I Bhould write no letter on the sub- 
ject, but if he thought best to publish the sub- 
stance of what I stated to him, he could do so. 
The same day he wrote and telegraphed from 
Washington to the Cincinnati Gazette, under 
date of September 15th, 1873, the following, 
which is a brief but correct report of my state- 
ment to him : 

General Garfield, who has just arrived here from 
the Indian country, has to-day had the first oppor- 
tunity of seeing the charges counecting his name 
with receiving shares of the Credit Mobilier from 
Oakes Ames. He authorizes the statement that he 
never subscribed for a single share of the stock, and 
that he never received or saw a share of it. When 
the company was first formed, George Francis Train, 
then active in it, came to Washington and exhibited 
a list of subscribers, of leading capitalists, and some 
members of Congress, to the stock of tbe company. 
The subscription was described as a popular one of 
$1000 cash. Train urged General Garfield to sub- 
scribe on two occasions, and each time he declined. 
Sabseqnently, he was again informed that the list 
was nearly completed, but that a chance remained 
for him to subscribe, when he again declined ; and to 
.this day he has not subscribed for or received any 
share of stock or bond of the company. 

This despatch was widely copied in the news- 
papers at the time, and was the only statement 
I made or authorized. One tiling in connection 
with the case I withheld from the public. When 
I saw the letters of Oakes Ames to Mr. McCorab, 
I was convinced, from what Judge Black had 
told me in 1869, that they were genuine, and 
that Ames had pretended to McComb that he 
had sold the Credit Mobilier stock for the pur- 
pose of securing the influence of members of 
Congress in any legislation that might arise 
touching his interests. I might have publish- 
ed the fact that I had heard this, and now be- 
lieved Ames had so represented it; though at 
the time Judge Black gave me the information 
I thought quite likely he was mistaken. I did 
not know to what extent any other member of 
Congress had had any negotiations with Mr. 
Ames ; but knowing the members whose names 
were published in connection with the charges, 
and believing them to be men of the highest in- 
tegrity, I did not think it just, either to them 
©r to the party with which we/cted, to express 
my opinion of the genuineness of Ames's let- 
tei-s at a time when a false construction would 
doubtless have been placed upon it. 

Here I might rest the case, but for some of 
the testimony given by Mr. Ames in reference 
to myself. I shall considei: it carefully, and 
shall make quotations of his language, or refer 
to it by pages as printed in the report, so that 
the correctness of my citations may, in every 
case, be verified. 


To bring the discussion into as narrow a com- 
pass as possible, the points of agreement and 
difference between Mr. Ames and myself may 
thus be stated : 

We agree that, soon after the beginning of 
the session of 1867-'68, Mr. Ames offered to sell 
' me ten shares of the Credit Mobilier stock, at 
par and the accrued interest ; that I never paid 
him any money on that oflfer; that I never re- 
ceived a certificate of stock ; that after the 
month of June, 1868, 1 never received, demand- 
ed, or was oflered any dividend, in any form, on 
that stock. We also agree that I once received 
from Mr. Ames a small sum of money. On the 
following points we disagree: He claims that I 
agreed to take the stock. I deny it. He claims 
that I received from him $339, and no more, as 
a balance of dividends on the stock. This I 
deny ; and assert that I borrowed from him 
$300, and no more, and afterward'returned it; 
ani that I never received anything from him on 
account of the stock. 

In discussing the testimony relating to my- 
self, it becomes necessary, for a full exhibition 
of the argument, to refer to that concerning 


It has been said that in Mr. Ames's first testi- 
mony, he withheld or concealed the facts gener- 
ally ; and hence, that what he said at that time 
concerning any one person is of but little con- 
sequence. The weight and value of his first 
testimony concerning any one person can be 
ascertained only by comparing it with his tes- 
timony given at the same examination concern- 
ing others. 

In that first examination of December 17th, 
^ recorded on pp. 15-58, Mr. Ames mentions by 

name (pp. 19-31) sixteen members of Congress 
who were said to have had dealings with him in 
reference to Credit Mobilier stock. Eleven of 
these, he says in that testimony, bought the 
stock; but he there sets me down among the 
five who did not buy it. He says (p. 31), "He 
[GarfieldJ did not pay for it or receive it. " 

He was, at the same time, cross-examined in 
regard to the dividends he paid to different per- 
sons ; and he testified (pp. 33-41) that he paid 
one or more dividends to eight different mem- 
bers of Congress, and that tliree others, being 
original subscribers, drew their dividends, not 
from him, but directly from the coiiipany. To 
several of the eight he says he paid all the divi- 
dends thatj accrued. But In the same cross-ex- 
amination he testified that he did not remem- 
ber to have paid me any dividends, nor that he 
had let me have any money. The following is 
the whole of his testimony Concerning me, on 
cross-examination : 

Q. In reference to Mr. Garfield, you say that yon 
agreed to get ten shares for him, and to hold them 
tnl he could pay for them, and that he never did pay 
for them nor receive them ? — A. Tes, sir. 

Q. He never paid any money on that stock nor re- 
ceived any money from it f— A. Not on account of it. 

Q. He received no dividends ?— A. No, sir j I think 
not. He says he did not. My own recollection is not 
very clear. \ 

Q. So that, aa yon understand, Mr. Garfield never 
parted with any money, nor received any money on 
that transaction ? — A. No, sir ; he had some money 
from me once, some three or four hundred dollars, 
and called it a loan. He says that that is-all he ever 
received from me, and that he considered it a loan. 
He never took his stock, and never paid for it. 

Q. Did- you understand it so ? — A. Yes : I am will- 
ing to so understand it. I do not recollect paying 
him any dividend, and have forgotten that I paid him 
any money (P. 28.) 

Q. Who received the dividends f — A. Mr. Patter- 
son, Mr. Bingham, James F. Wilson did, and I think 
Mr. Colfax received a part of them. I do nbt Itnow 
whether he received them all or not. I think Mr. Sco- 
field received a part of them. Messrs. Kelley and Gar- 
field never paid for their stock, and never received 
their dividends (P. 40.) 

Certainly it cannot be said that Mr. Ames has 
evinced any partiality for me ; and if he was at- 
tempting to shield any of those concerned, it 
will not be claimed that I was one of his favor- 

In his first testimony, he claims to have 
spoken from memory, and without the aid of 
his documents. But he did then distinctly tes- 
tify that he sold the stock to eleven members, 
and paid dividends to eight of them. He not 
only did not put me in either of those lists, but 
distinctly testified that I never took the stock 
nor received the dividends arising from it. 


His second testimony was given on the 33d 
of January, five weeks after liis first. In as- 
signing to this, and all his subsequent testi- 
mony, its just weight, it ought to be said that 
before he gave it an event occurred which made 
it strongly for his interest to prove a sale of the 
stock which he held as trustee. Besides the 
fact that McOomb had already an equity suit 
pending in Philadelphia, to compel Mr. Ames 
to account to him for this same stock, another 
suit was threatened, after he had given his fi^st 
testimony, to make him account to the com- 
pany for all the stock he had not sold as trus- 
tee. His first testimony was given on the 17th 
of December, and was made public on the 6th 
of January. On the 15th of January, T. C. Du- 
rant, one of the heaviest stockholders of the 
Credit Mobilier Company, and for a long time 
its president, was examined as a witness, and 
said (p. 173) : " The stock that stands in the 
name of Mr. Ames, as trustee, I claim belongs 
to the company yet ; and I have a summons in 
a suit in my pocket waiting to catch him in New 
York to serve the papers." Of course, if as a 
trustee he had made sale of any portion of this 
stock, and afterward as an individual had bought 
it back, he' could not be compelled to return it 
to the company. 

Nowhere in Mr. Ames's subsequent testimony 
does he claim to remember the transaction be- 
tween himself and me any differently from what 
he first stated it to be. But from the memoran- 
da found or made after his first examination, he 
infers and declares that there was a sale of the 
stock to me, and a payment to me of $339 on 
account of dividends. 

Here, again, his testimony concerning me 
should be compared with his testimony given 
at the same time concerning others. 

The memoranda oTit of which all his addi- 

tional testimony grew consisted of certificates 
of stock, receipts, checks on the sergeant - at- 
arms, and entries in his diary. I will consider 
these in the order stated. 

To two members of Congress he delivered 
certificates of Credit Mobilier stock, which, as 
trustee, he had sold to them (see pp. 367 and 
390) ; and in a third case he delivered a certifi- 
cate of stock to the person to whom a member 
had sold it. But Mr. Ames testifies that he 
never gave me a certificate of stock; that I 
never demanded one; and that no certificate 
was ever spoken of between us. (See pp. ^5, 
396.) , 

In the case of five members, he gave to them, 
or received from them, regular receipts of pay- 
ment on account of stock and dividends. <See 
pp. 31, 113^ 191, 304, 337, 456, and 458.) , But no- 
where is it claimed or pretended that any re- 
ceipt was ever given by me, or to me, on ac- 
count of this stock, or on account of any divi- 
dends arising from it. 

Again, to five of the members Mr. Ames gave 
checks on the sergeant-at-arms, payable to' them ^ 
by name; and these checks were produced in 
evidence. (See pp. 333, 334, and 449.) In the 
case of three others, he produced checks bear- 
ing on their face the initials of the persons tO' 
whom he claimed they were paid. But he no- 
where pretended to have, or ever to have had,, 
any cheek bearing either my name or my ini- 
tials, or any mark or endorsement connecting it 
with me. 

In regard to dividends claimed in his subse? 
quent testimony to have been paid to different 
members, in two cases he says he paid all the 
dividends that accrued on the stock from De- 
cember, 1867, to May 6th, 1871. (See pp. 191 and 
337.) In a third case, all the accretions of the- 
stock were received by the person to whom, 
he sold it, as the result of a resale. (See p. 
317.) In a fourth case, he claims to have paid 
money on the 33d of September, 1868, on account 
of dividends (.see p. 461) ; and in a fifth case, he 
claims to have paid a dividend in full, January 
33d, 1869. (See p. 454.) One purchaser sold his 
ten shares in the winter of 1868-'69, and received 
thereon a net profit of at least $3000. Yet Mr. 
Ames repeatedly swears that he never paid me 
but $339; that, after June, 1868, he never ten- 
dered to me, nor did I ever demand from him, 
any dividend ; and that there was never any 
conversation between us relating to dividends. 
(See pp. 40, 396, and 356.) 

As an example of his testimony on this point,. 
I quote from p. 296. After Mr. Ames had stated 
that he remembered no conversation between 
us in regard to the adjustment of tliese ac- 
counts, the committee asked : 

Q. t\^as this the only dealing yon had with him in 
reference to any stock ?— A. I think so. 

Q. Was it the only transaction of any kind? — A. 
The only transaction. 

Q. Hasthat$329ever beenpaid to yon?— A. I have 
no recollection of it. 

Q. Have you any belief that it ever has ?— A. No, 

Q. Did you ever loan General Gai-fleld $300? — A. 
Not to my knowledge ; except that he calls this a 

Q. There were dividends of Union Pacific Railroad 
stock on these ten shares ? — A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did General Garfield ever receive these? — A. 
No, sir. He never has received but $329 

Q. Has there been any conversation between you 
and him in reference to the Pacific stock he was en- 
titled to ?— A. No, sir. 

Q. Has he ever called for it? — A. No, sir. 

Q. Have you ever offered it to him? — A. No, sir. 

Q. Has there been any conversation in relation to 
it ?— A. No, sir. 

The assertion that he withheld the payment 
of dividends because of the McComb suit brought 
in November, 1868, is wholly broken down by 
the fact that he did pay the dividends to sev- 
eral persons during a period of two years after 
the suit was commenced. 

The only other memoranda ofitered as evidence 
are tbe entries in Mr. Ames's diary for 1868. 
That book contains a separate statement of an 
account with eleven members of Congress, show- 
ing the number of shares of stock sold or in- 
tended to be sold to each, with the interest and 
dividends thereon. (Seepp. 450to 461.) Across 
the face of nine of these accounts long lines are 
drawn, crossing each other, showing, as Mr. 
Ames says, that in each such case the account 
was adjusted and closed. Three of these entries 
of accounts are not thus crossed off' (see pp. 
451, 458, and 459), and the three members refer- 
red to therein testify that they never bought the 
stock. The account entered under my name is 
one of the three that are not crossed off. Hera 
is the entry in full (see p. 459) : 




10 shares Credit M $1000 00 

TmO9.10dBJB 43 36 

1043 36,at9T 7T6 00 

267 36 
Int'st to June 20th 3 64 

$2X1 00 
1000 C. M. 
1000 U. P. 

This entry is a mere undated memorandum, 
and indicates neither payment, settlement, nor 
sale. In reference to it, the following testimony 
was given by Mr. Ames on cross-examination 
(see p. 460) : 

Q. This stittement of He. Garfield's account is not 
crossed off, which indicates, does it, that the matter has 
oever been settled or adjasted t—A. No, sir ; it never 

Q. Can you state whether yon have any other entry 
In relation to Hr. Garfield ?— A. No, sir. 

Comparing Mr. Ames's testimony in reference 
to me with that in reference to others, it ap- 
pears that when he testified from his memory 
alone, he distinctly and affirmatively excepted 
me fl-om the list of those who bought the stock 
or received the dividends ; and that subsequent- 
ly, in aiery case save my own, ho produced some 
one or more of the following documents as evi- 
dence, viz., certificates of stock; receipts of mon- 
ey or dividends ; checks bearing either the full 
names or tlie initials of the persons to whom 
they purported to have been paid ; or entries, in 
his diai-y, of accounts marked "adjusted and 
close;d." But "no one of the classes of memo- 
randa here described was produced in reference 
to me ; nor was it pi-etended that any one such, 
referring to me, ever existed. 

In this review, I neither assert nor intimate 
that sales of stock are proved in the other cases 
referred tiS. In several cases such proof was not 
made. But I do assert that none of the evi- 
dences mentioned above exist in reference to 


Having thus stated the difierence between the 
testimony relating to other persons, and that 
relating to me, I now notice the testimony on 
which it is attempted to reach the conclusion 
that I did agree to take the stock, and did re- 
ceive $339 on account of it 

On the 33d of January Mr. Ames presented to 
the committee a statement of an alleged account 
with me, which I quote from page 397 : 

J. A. G., Dr. 

186S. To 10 shares stock Credit Mobilier 

of A v.. $1000 00 

Interest 41 00 

Janel9th. Tocash 389 00 

I $1376 00 

1S68. By dividend bonds, Union Pacif- 

ic Railroad, $1000, at 80 per 

cent, less 3 per cent $776 00 

June 17th. By dividend collected for your 

accoQut 600 00 

$1376 00 

This account, and other similar ones presented 
at the same time, concerning other members, he 
claimed to liave copied from his memorandum- 
book. But when the memorandum -book was 
subsequently presented, it was found that the ac- 
count here quoted was not copied from it, but 
was made up partly from raemoi-y and partly 
from such memoranda as Mr. Ames had discov- 
ered after his first examination. 

By comparing this account with the entry 
made in his diary, and already quoted, it will be 
seen that they are not duplicates, either in sub- 
stance or form ; and that in this account a new 
element is added, namely, an alleged payment of 
$339 in cash on June 19th. This is the very ele- 
ment in dispute. 


The pretended proof that this sum was paid 
me is found in the production of a check drawn 
by Mr. Ames on the sergeant-at-arms. The fol- 
lowing is the language of the check, as reported 
on page 863 of the testimony : 

June Hd, 1S6S. 

Pay O. A, or bearer, three hundred and twenty- 
nine dollars, and charge to my accoant. 

Oakes Ames. 

This check bears no endorsement or other 
mark than the words and figures given above. 
It was drawn on the 33d day of June, and, as 
shown by the books of the sergeant-at-arms, 

Was paid the same day by the paying teller. But 
if this check was paid to me on the account just 
quoted, it must have been delivered to me three days 
before U was dramn ; for the account says that I 
received the payment on the 19th of June. 

There is nothing but the testimony of Mr. 
Ames that in any way connects this check with 
me. And as the committee find that the check 
was paid to me, I call special attention to all 
the testimony that bears upon the question. 

When Mr. Ames testified that he paid me $339 
as a dividend on account of the stock, the fol- 
lowing question was asked him (p. 395) : 

Q. How was that paid?— A. Paid in money, I be- 

At a later period in the examination (p. 297 :) 

Q. You say that $389 was paid to him. How was 
that paid f— A. I presume by a check on the sergeant- 
at-arms. I fiud there are checks filed, without indi- 
cating who they were for. 

One week later, the check referred to above 
was produced, and the following examination 
was had (p. 853) : 

Q. This check seems to have been paid to some- 
body, and taken up by the sergeant-at-arms. Those 
initials are your owu f— A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you know who had the benefit of this check ? 
— ^A. I cannot tell yon. 

Q. Do you think you received the money on it your- 
self f — A I have no idea I may have drawn the mon- 
ey and handed it to another person. It was paid in 
that transaction. It may have been paid to Mr. Gar- 
field. There were several sums of that amount. 

Q. Have you any memory in reference to this checks 
—A. I have no memory as to that particular check. 

Still later in the examination occurs the fol- 
lowing (p. 854) : 

Q. In regard to Mr. Garfield, do yon know whether 
you gave nim a check, or paid him the money i — A. 
I think I did not pay him the money. He got it from 
the sergeant-at-arms upon a check. 

Still later, in the same examination, occurs 
the following (p. 855) : 

Q. You think the check on which you wrote noth- 
ing to indicate the payee must have been Mr. Gar^ 
field's f — A. Yes, sir. That is my judgment. 

On the nth of February, twelve days later 
still, the subject came up again, and Mr. Ames 
said (p. 460): 

A. I am not sure how 1 paid Mr, Garfield. 

Still later, in a cross-examination in reference 
to Mr. Colfax, the following occurs (p. 471) : 

Q. In testifying in Mr. Garfield's case, you say you 
may have drawn the money on the check and paid 
him. Is not your answer eq^ually applicable to the 
case of Mr. Colfiixf— A. No, sir. 

Q. Why not ?— A. I put Mr. Colfax's initials on the 
check, while 1 put no initials on Mr. Garfield's, and I 
may have drawn the money myself. 

Q. Did not Mr. Garfield's check belong to him f— A. 
Mr. Garfield had not paid for his stock. He was en- 
titled to $329 balance. But Mr. Colfax paid for his, 
and 1 had no business with his $1800. 

Q. Is your recollection in regard to this payment to 
Mr. Colhx any more clear than your recollection as 
to the payment to Mr. Garfield ?— A. Yes, sir ; I think 
it is. 

And finally, in the examination of Mr. Dillon, 
cashier of the sergeant-at-arms, the following is 
recorded (p. 479) : 

Q. There is a check payable to Cakes Ames or bear- 
er. Have you any recollection of that? — A. That was 
paid to himself. I have no doubt myself that I paid 
that to Mr. Ames. 

Reviewing the testimony on this point (and I 
have quoted it all), it will be seen that Mr. Ames 
several times asserts that he does not know 
whether he paid me the check or not He 
states positively that he has no special recol- 
lection of the check. His testimony is wholly 
inferential. In one of the seven paragraphs 
quoted, he says he paid me the money ; in an- 
other he says he may have paid me tlie money ; 
in thre« of them he thinks, or presumes, that he 
paid me the check ; and in the other two he says 
he does not know. 

The cashier of the sergeant-at-arms has no 
doubt that Mr. Ames himself drew the money 
on the check. And yet, upon this vague and 
wholly inconclusive testimony, and almost alone 
upon it, is based the assumption that I received 
from Mr. Ames $839 as a dividend on the stock. 
I affirm, with perfect distinctness of recollec- 
tion, that I received no check from Mr. Ames. 
The only money I ever received from him was 
in currenev. 

The only other evidence in support of the as- 
sumption that he paid me $339, as a balance on 

the stock, is found in the entries in his diary 
for 1868. The value of this class of memoranda 
depends altogether upon their character, and 
upon the business habits of the man who makes 
them. On this latter point the following testi- 
mony of Mr. Ames, ou p. 34, is important : 

Q. Is it your habit, as a matter of business, in con- 
ducting various transactions with different persons, 
to do It withont making any roemnrauda t—A. This 
was my habit Uutil within a year or two I have had 
no book-keeper, and I used to keep all my own mat- 
ters in my own way, and very carelessly, I admit. 

The memorandum-book in which these entries 
were made was not presented to the committee 
until the 11th of February — one week before 
they made their report. This book does not 
contain continuous entries of current transac- 
tions, with consecutive dates. It is in no sense 
a day-book, bnt contains a loose, irregular mass 
of memoranda, which may have been made at 
the time of the transactions, or long afterward. 
Mr. Ames says of it in his testimony (p. 381) : 

Q. What was the character of the book in which 
the memoranda were made? — A. It was in a small 
pocket memorandum, and some of it on slips of 

It is not pretended that this book contains a 
complete record of payments and receipts. And 
yet, besides the check already referred to, this 
book, so made up, contains the only evidence, 
or pretended evidence, on which it is claimed 
that I agreed to take the stock. It should be 
remembered that every portion of this evidence, 
both check and book, is of Mr. Ames's own mak- 
ing. I have already referred to the undated mem- 
orandum of an account in this book, under my 
name, and have shown that it neither proved a 
sale of stock, nor any payment on account of it. 

There are but two other entries in the book 
relating to me, and they are two lists of names, 
substantially duplicates of each other, with va- 
rious amounts set opposite each. They are 
found on pages 450 and 453 of the testimony. 
The word "paid" is marked before the first 
name on one of these lists, and ditto marks 
placed under the word "paid," and opposite 
the remaining names. But the value of this 
entry as proof of payment will be seen from the 
cross-examination of Mr. Ames, which immedi- 
ately follows the list (p. 453) : 

Q. This entry, "Paid S. Colfax $1800," is the amount 
whichyou paid by this check on the sergeant-at-arms ? 
— A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was this entry upon this page of these various 
names intended to show the amount you were to pay, 
or that you had paid ? was that made at this date f — 
A. I do not know ; it was made about that time. I 
would not have written it ou Sunday ; it is not very 
likely. It was made on a blank page. It is simply a 
list of names. 

Q. Were these names put down after yon had made 
the payments, or before, do you think? — A. Before, I 
ihink. , 

Q. You think you made this list before the pai'ties 
referred to had actually received their checks, or re- 
ceived the money? — A. Yes, sir; that was to show 
whom I had to pay, and who were entitled to receive 
the 60 per cent, dividend. It shows whom I had to 
pay here in Washington. 

Q. It says " paid ?"— A. Yes, sir j well, I did pay it 

Q. What I want to know is, whether the list was 
made out before or after payment? — A. About the 
same time, 1 suppose ; probably before. 

The other list, bearing the same names and 
amounts, shows no other evidence that the sev- 
eral sums were paid than a cross marked op- 
posite each amount Bnt concerning this, Mr. 
Ames testifies that it was a list of what was to 
be paid, and that the cross was subsequently 
added to show that the amount had been paid. 

Neither of these lists shows anything as to 
the time or mode of payment, and would no- 
where he accepted as proof of payment By 
Mr. Ames's own showing, they are lists of per- 
sons to whom he acpec^ to i>ay the amounts 
set opposite their names. They may exhibit 
his expectations, but they do not prove the al- 
leged payments. If the exact sum of $339 was 
received by me at the time, and under the cir- 
cumstances alleged by Mr. Ames, it implies an 
agreement to take the stock. It implies, fur- 
tiiermoi-e, that Mr. Ames had sold Pacific Kail- 
road bonds for me ; that he had received, also, a 
cash dividend for me, and had accounted to me 
as trustee for these receipts, and the balance of 
the proceeds. 

Now, I affirm, with the firmest conviction of 
the correctness of my statement, that I never 
heard, until this investigation began, that Mr. 
Ames ever sold any bonds, or performed any oth- 
er stock transactions ou my behalf, and no ac' 
of mine was ever based on such a supposition. 




The only remaining testimony bearing upon 
me is tliat in whieh Mr. Ames refers to conver- 
sations between himself and me after the inves- 
tigation began. The first of these was of his 
own seeking, and occurred before he or I had 
testified. Soon after the investigation began, 
Mr. Ames asked rae what I remembered of our 
talk in 1867-68 in reference to the Credit Mo- 
bilier Company. I told him I could best an- 
swer his question by reading to him the state- 
ment I had already prepared to lay before the 
committee when I should be called. Accord- 
ingly, on the following day, I took my written 
statement to the Capitol, and read it to him 
carefally, sentence by sentence, and asked him 
to point out anything whieh he might think in- 
correct. He made but two criticisms : one in 
regard to a date, and the other that he thought 
it was the Credit Fonoier, and not the Credit 
Mobilier, that Mr. Traia asked me to subscribe 
to in 1866-'67. When I read the paragraph in 
which I stated that I had once borrowed $300 
of him, he remarked, "I believe I did let you 
have some money, but I had forgotten it." He 
said nothing to Indicate that he regarded me as 
iaving purchased the stock ; and from that con- 
versation I did not doubt that he regarded my 
statement substantially correct. His first tes- 
timony, given a few days afterward, confirmed 
me in this opinion. 

I had another interview with Mr. Ames, of my 
own seeking, to which he alludes on pp. 357 and 
359 ; and for a full understanding of it a state- 
ment of some previous facts is necessary. I 
gave my testimony before the committee, and 
in Mr. Ames's hearing, on the morning of Jan- 
uai7 14th. It consisted of the statement I had 
already read to Mr. Ames, and of the cross-ex- 
amination which followed my reading of the 
statement, all of which has been qnoted above. 

Daring that afternoon, while I was engaged in 
the management of an appropriation bill in the 
House, word was brought to me that Mr. Ames, 
on coming out of the committee-room, had de- 
clared in the hearing of sevfiral reporters that 
"Garfield was in league with Judge Black to 
break him down ; that it was $400, not $300, 
that he had let Garfield have, who had not only 
never repaid it, but had refused to repay it." 
Though this report of Mr. Ames's alleged dec- 
laration was subsequently found to be false, and 
was doubtless fabricated for the purpose of cre- 
ating difficulty, yet there were circumstances 
which, at the time, led me to suppose that the 
report was correct. One was, that Judge Black 
(who was McComb's counsel in the suit against 
Ames) was present at my examination, and had 
drawn out, on cross-examination, my opinion of 
the nature of Mr. Ames's relation to the Credit 
Mobilier Company and the Union Pacific Com- 
'pany; and the other was, that in Mr.. Ames's 
testimony of December 17th he had said (p. 38), 
"He [Mr. Garfield] had some money from me 
once, some three or four hundred dollars, and 
called it a loan." The sum of four hundred dol- 
lars had thus been mentioned in his testimony, 
and it gave plausibility to the story that he was 
now claiming tliat as the amount he had loaned 

Supposing that Mr. Ames had said what was 
reported, I was deeply indignant ; and, with a 
view of drawing from him a denial or retraction 
of the statement, or, if he persisted in it, to pay 
him twice over, so that he could no longer say 
or pj-etend that there existed between us any 
unsettled transaction, I drew some money from 
the ofilce of the sergeant-at-arms, and, going to 
my committee-room, addressed him the follow- 
ing note : 

House of Representatives, January 14tli, 1873. 

Sib, — ^I have just been informed, to my utter amaze- 
ment, that after coming out of the commlttec-room 
this morning yon said m the presence of several re- 

gortera that you had loaned me fonr instead of three 
undred dollars, and that I had not only refused to 
pay yon, but was aiding your accusers to injure you in 
the investigation.^ I shall call the attention of the 
committee to it unless I find I am misinformed. To 
briiig the loan question to an immediate issue between 
us, lenclose herewith $400. If you wish to do justice 
to the truth and to me, yon will return it, and correct 
%e alleged statement, if you made it. If not, you will 
5eep the money, and thus be paid twice and more. 
Silence on your part will be a confession that you have 
deeply wronged me. J. A. Garfield. 

Hon. Oakbs Amss. 

After the House had adjourned for the day, I 
found, on returning to my committee- room, that 
I had omitted to enclose the note with the mon- 
ey, which had been sent to the House post-offlee. 
I immediately sought Mr. Ames to deliver the 

note, but failed to find him at his hotel or else- 
where that evening. Early the next morning, 
January 15th,Ifoand him, and delivered the note. 
He denied having said or claimed any of the 
things therein set forth, and wrote on the back 
of my letter the following : 

Washington, January IStli, 1S73. 

Deab Sib,— I return you your letter with enclosures, 
and I utterly deny ever having said that you refubed to 
pay me, or that it was foar instead of three hundred 
dollars, or that you was aiding my accusers. I also 
wish to say that there has never been any but the mi)st 
friendly feelings between us, and no transaction in the 
least degree thtit can be censured by any fair-minded 
person. I herewith return yon the four hundred dol- 
lars as not belonging to me. Tours, truly, 

Oakbs Ames. 

Hon, J. A. Garfibld. 

From inquiry of the reporters to whom the re- 
marks were alleged to have been made, I had be- 
come satisfied that the story was wholly false, 
and when Mr. Ames added his denial, I expressed 
to him my regret that I had written this note in 
anger and upon false information. I furthermore 
said to Mr. Ames that, if he had any doubt in ref- 
erence to the repayment of the loan, I wished 
him to keep the money. He refused to keep any 
part of it, and his conversation indicated that he 
regarded all transactions between us settled. 

Before I left his room, however, he said he had 
some memoranda which seemed to indicate that 
the money I had of him was on account of 
stock ; and asked me if he did not, some time in 
1868, deliver to me a statement to that efiect. I 
told him if he had any account of that sort, I was 
neither aware of it, nor responsible for it; and 
thereupon I made substantially the following 
statement : 

Mr. Ames, the only memorandnm yon ever showed 
me was in 1867-68, when, speakiug to me of this pro- 
posed sale of stock, yon figured out, on a little piece 
of paper, what yon supposed would be realized from 
an investment of $1000; and, as I remember, you 
wrote down these figures : 


as the amounts you expected to realize. 

While saying this to Mr. Ames, I wrote the 
figures as above, on a piece of paper lying on his 
table, to show him what the only statement was 
he had ever made to me. It is totally false that 
these figures had any other meaning than that E 
have here given i nor did I say anything out of 
which could be fabricated such a statement as 
appears on pages 358, 359. 

In his testimony of January 39th, Mr. Ames 
gives a most remarkable account of this inter- 
view. Remembering the fact, by him undisputed, 
that there had been no communication between 
us on this subject for more than four years be- 
fore this investigation began, notice the follow- 
ing (p. 358) : 

Q. Did you have any conversation in reference to 
the influence this transaction would have on the elec- 
tion last fall ?— A. Yes, he said it would he very inju- 
rious to him. 

Q. What else in reference to that ?— A. 1 am a very 
bad man to repeat conversations ; I cannot remember. 

That is, he makes me, on the 15th of January, 
1873, express the fear that this transaction will 
injure me in the election of October, 1873! 

Again, pages 357, 358 : 

Q. Ton may state whether in conversation with yon, 
Mr. Garfield claims, as he claims before us, that the 
only transaction between you was borrowing $300. — 
A. No, sir, he did not claim that with me. 

Q. State how he did claim it with you; what was 
saia.— A. I cannot remember half of it...... He [Mr. 

Garfield] stated that when he came back from Europe, 
being in want of funds, he called on me to loan him a 
sum of money. He thought he had repaid it. I do 
not know ; I do not remember. 

Q. How long after that transaction [the offer to sell 
Credit Mobilier stock] did he go to Europe 1 — A. I be- 
lieve it was a year or two 

, Q. Do you not know that he did not go to Enrope 
for nearly two years afterward f — A. No, I do not. It 
is my impression it was two years afterward, hut I 
can not remember dates. 

I should think not, if this testimony is an ex- 
ample of his memory ! 

It is known to thousands of people that I went 
to Europe in the summer of 1867, and at no other 
time. I sailed from New York on the 13th of 
July, 1867, spent several days of August in Scot- 
land, with Speaker Blaine and Senator Morrill, 
of Vermont, and returned to New York on the 
9th of the following November — three weeks be- 
fore the beginning of the session of Congress. 

The books of the sergeant-at-arms of the 
House sliow that, before going, I bad assigued 
several mouths' pay in advance to a banker, wlio 
had advanced me money for :he expenses of the 
trip. To break the weight of this fact, which 
showed why I came to need a small loan, Mr. 
Ames says I did not go to Europe till nearly two 
years afterward. 

If a reason be sought why he gave such testi- 
mony it may perhaps be found on the same page 
from which the last quotation is made (p. 359) : 

Q. How did yon happen to retain that little stray 
memorandnm ? — A. I do not kuow. I found it in my 
table two or three days afterward. I did not pay any 
attention to it at the lime, until I found there was to 
be a confiict of testimony, and I thought that might be 
something worth preserving. 

How did he find out after that time that 
" there was to be a conflict of testimony ?" The 
figures were made on that piece of paper Janu- 
ary 15th, the day after I had given my testimony, 
and four weeks after he had given his first testi- 
mony. There was no conflict except what he 
himself made; and that conflict was as marked 
between his first statement and his subsequent 
ones, as between the latter and mine. 

There runs through all this testimony now un- 
der consideration an intimation that I was in a 
state of alarm, was beseecliing Mr. Ames " to let 
me off easily," " to say as little about it as pos- 
sible," "to let it go as a loan," "to save my 
reputation," that I "felt very bad," was "in 
great distress," " hardly knew what I said^aud 
other such expressions. \« "\.. 

I should have been wholly devoid of fiensibility , 
if I had not felt keenly the suSlf^on^jlM ^Mij 
accusations, the reckless caiamifres withfwiiich 
the public mind was filled wtile the invaM.ig».s. 
tion was in progress. B»ut therWis^ot the smalK 
est fragment of truth in the ststemeut, or i]atbei>< 
the insinuation, that I ever askfM arwiriiteaVnyr 
thing from Mr. Ames (\n thi§ jiui^«c^npslaip}e'^ 
justice and the truth. i ', 

The spirit in which a portion of \qp public 
treated the men whose condtte l ii ualf 
tigated may be understood from the following 
question, put to Mr. Ames (page 361) in the 
midst of.((9 examination not at all relating to 
me: / 

^.'In that conversation with Mr. Garfield, was any 
thihg.^aid by him about your being an old man, near 
the end of your career, fSbA his being comparatively a 
young man ?— A. JIo, sir'; nothing of that sort. 

ih^ianrflfest tll4fe^-is question was suggested 
by'Vaig orthe inveplwe bj-standers, in hopes of ' 
malodg an item for ly^ew sensation. 

The most absurd and exa|;gerated statements 
were constantly jindirf^th'eU- way into the public 
press, in reference to e^ry subject and person 
connected with the investigation, and this ques- 
tion is an illustration. 

In" no' communication vtiiH^ Mr. Ames did I 
ever say anything inconsistefii^with my testi- 
mony before the committee. L^' « 

Conscious thjit I had done nl^^ppng from: the 
beginning to the>,end of this afiaiJWJted nothing 
to conceal and nd/anors to ask, ej^eftt that the 
whole truth shoul'd be knowuyy Iwas in the 
committ,ee-room but once dnri^ tHB investiga- 
tion, and I went there then onlywhen sufcomoned 
to give my testimony, i / 


Prom a review of the whole jobject, the fol- 
lowing conclusions are fairly a£d clearly estab" 
lished : 

I. That the Credit Mobilier Company was a 
State corporation regularly organized ; and that 
neither its charter nor the terms of its contract, 
of October 15th, 1867, disclosed anything which 
indicated that the company was engaged in any 
fraudulent or improper enterprise. 

II. That a ring of seven persons inside the 
Credit Mobilier Company, calling themselves 
trustees,' obtained the control of the frauchises, 
and of a majority of the stock of both the Credit 
Mobilier and of the Union Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany ; and, while holding such double control, 
they made a contract with themselves, by which 
they received for building the road an extrava- 
gant sum, greatly beyond the real cost of con- 
struction ; and, in adjusting the payments, they 
received stock and bonds of the railroad com- 
pany at a heavy discount, and by tliese means 
virtually robbed and plundered the road, which 
was in great part built by the aid of the United 

That these exorbitant profits were distributed, 
not to the stockholders of the Credit Mobilier 
proper, but to the ring of seven trustees and 
their proxies — the holders of this ring stock— 



and tbat this arrangement was kept a clo^e se- 
cret by its managers. 

III. Tliat in 1867-'68 Mr. Ames offered to sell 
small amounts o( tljis stock to several leading 
members of Congress-, representing it as an or- 
dinary investment promising fair profits ; but in 
every such offer he concealed from such mem- 
bers the real nature of the arrangement by which 
the profits were to be made, as well as the amount 
of dividends likely to be realized. While thus 
offering this stock, he was writing to one of his 
ring associates that he was disposing of the stock 
" where it would do most good," intimating that 
he was thereby gaiiling; influence in Congress, to 
prevent investigation into the affairs of the road. 
His letters and the list of names which he gave 
to MoOomb r^epresent many persons as having 
bouglit the stock who never did buy or agree to 
buy it, and also repi-esent a much larger amount 
sold than he did actually sell. Mr. Ames's let- 
ters and testimony abound in contradictions, not 
only of his own statements, but also of the state- 
ments of most of the other witnesses ; and it is 
fair, in judging of its credibility, to take into ac- 
count liis interests involved in the controversy. 

IV. That in reference to myself the following 
points are clearly established by the evidence : 

1. That I neither purchased nor agreed to pur- 
chase the Credit Mobilier stock which Mr. Ames 
offered to sell me ; nor did I receive any dividend 
arising from it. This appears from my own tes- 
timony ; and from the first testimony given by 
Mr. Ames, which is not overthrown by his sub- 
sequent statements ; and is strongly confirmed 
by the fact that in the ease of each of those who 
did purchase lie stock there was produced, as 
evidlpce of the sale, either a certificate of stock, 
receipt of payment, a check drawn in the name 
of the payee, or entries in Mr. Ames's diary of a 
stock account marked adjusted and closed ; but 
thatno one of these evidences exists In reference 
to me. Tliis position is further confirmed by the 
subsequent testimony oSMr. Ames, who, though 
he claims that I did receive $339 from him on ac- 
count of the stock, yet he repeatedly testifies 
that beyond that amount'I never received or de- 
manded any dividend, that he did not offer me 
any, nor was the subject alluded to in conversa- 
tion between us. 

Mr. Ames admits, on page 40 of the testimo- 
. ny, that after December, 1867, the various stock 
and bond dividends, on the stock he had sold, 
amounted to an aggregate of more than 800 per 
^ cent. ; and that between Jannai^, 1868, andtMay, 
1871, all these dividends were paid to several of 
those who purchased the stock. My conduct 
was wholly inconsistent with the supposition of 
such ownership ; for, during the year 1869,1 was 
borrowing money to build a house here in Wash- 
ington, and was securing my creditors by giving 
mortgages on my property ; and all this time it 
is admitted that I received no dividends and 
claimed none. 

The attempt to.prove a sale of the stock to me 
is wholly inconclusive ; for it rests, first, on a 
check payable to Mr. Ames himself, concerning 
which he seyeral times says he does not know 
to whom it was paid ; and, second, upon loose, 
undated entries in his diaiy, which nteither prove 
a sale of the stock nor any payment on account 
of it. 

The ofily fact fl'om which it is possible for Mr. 
Ames to have inferred an agreement to buy the 
stock was the loan to me of $800. But that loan 
was made months before the check of June 33d, 
1868, and was repaid in the winter of 1869 ; and 
after that date there were no transactions of any 
sort betw'een us. 

And, finally, before the investigation was end- 
ed, Mr. Ames admitted that on the chief point 
of difference between us he might be mistaken. 

On page 356 he said he " considered me the 
purchaser of the stock, unless it was borrowed 
money I had of him ;" and on page 461, at the 
conclusion of "his last testimony, he said : 

Mr. Garfield understands this matter as a loan ; be 
says 1 did not explain it to him. 

Q. Tou need not say what Mr. Garfield says. Tell 
DS what you think. 

A. Mr. Garfield might have raisauderstood me 

I supposed it was like all the rest, but when Mr. Gar- 
field says be mistook it for a loan ; that he always un- 
derstood it to be a loan ; that 1 did not make any ex- 
planation to him, and did not make any statement to 
him ; I may be mistaken. I am a man of few words, 
and I may not have made myself understood to him. 

3. That the offer which Mr. Ames made to me, 
as I understood it, was one which involved no 
wrong or impropriety. I had no means of know- 
ing, and had no reason for supposing that behind 
this offer to sell me a small amount of stock lay 
hidden a scheme to defraud the Pacific Railroad 
and imperil the interests of the United States. 

I was not invited to become a party to any 
scheme of spoliation, much less was I aware of 
any attempt to influence my legislative action 
on any subject connected therewith. And on 
the first intimation of the real nature of the 
case, I declined any further consideration of the 

3. That whatever may have been the facts in 
the case, I stated them in my testimony as I 
have always understood them ; and there has 
been no contradiction, prevarication, or evasion 
ou my part. 

This is demonstrated by the fact that I stated 
the case to Mr. Robinson, in the spring of 1868, 
and to Mr. Hinsdale in the autumn of that year, 
and to Judge Black in the winter of 1869-'70, 
substantially as it is stated in my testimony be- 
fore the committee. 

I have shown that during the Presidential cam- 
paign I did not deny having known anything 
about the Credit Mobilier Company; that the 
statement published in the Cincinnati Oazelte, 
September 15th, is substantially in accord with 
my testimony before the com mittee ; and, finally, 
that during the progress of the investigation 
there was nothing in my conversation or corre- 
spondence with Mr. Ames in any way inconsist- 
ent with the facts as given in my testimony. To 
suni it up in a word : out of an unimportant 
business transaction, the loan of a trifling sum 
of money, as a matter of personal accommoda- 
tion, and out of an offer never accepted, has 
arisen this enormous fabric of accusation and 

If there be a citizen of the United States who 
is willing to believe that for $339 I have har- 
tere'd away my good name, and to falsehood 
have added perjury, these pages are not ad- 
dressed to him. If there be one who thinlS 
that any part of my public life has been gauged 
on so low a level as these charges would place it, 
I do not address him — I address those who are 
willing to believe that it is possible for a man to 
serve the public without personal, dishonor. I 
have endeavored, in this review, to point out the 
means by which the managers of a corporation, 
wearing the garb of honorable industry, have 
robbed and defrauded a great national enter- 
prise, and attempted, by cunning and decep- 
tion, for selfish ends, to enlist in its interest 
those who would have been the first to crush 
the attempt had their objects been known. 

If any of the scheming corporations or cor- 
rupt rings that have done so much to disgrace 
the country., by their attempts to control its 
legislation have ever found in me a conscious 
supporter or ally in any dishonorable scheme, 
they are at fuUliberty to disclose it. In the dis- 
cussion of the many grave and difiScult ques- 
tions of public policy which have occupied the 
thoughts of the nation during the last twelve 
years, I have borne some part ; and I confidently 
appeal to the public records for a vindication of 
my conduct. Jambs A. Gakfield. 

A careful reading of this statement will show 
that the whole of this controversy is a simple 
question of veracity between General Garfield 
and Oakes Ames. Ames assented to Garfield's 
testimony once ; afterward he denied it. He 
must have perjured himself on one of these oc- 
casions ; on which one it is not hard to deter- 
mine, when we consider Garfield's statement, 
and take into account the character of the two 
witnesses. A man who will steal will not hesi- 
tate to lie, and this man wanted to ' ' pad "for a 
fall which he saw to be inevitable. Like Sam- 
son, he would pull down the pillars of the tem- 
ple, and so have companions in his ruin. 

Another charge made against General Garfield 
is that, during the days of the District of Colum- 
bia Ring he accepted $5000 as a fee for making 
an argument in behalf of the De Golyer wooden 
pavement, when, in fact, he did no work as coun- 
sel in the case, and the money was paid to him 
to influence his action as chairman of the House 
Committee on Appropriations. This charge is 
mainly based on the supposition that Garfield is 
not a lawyer whose legal services of themselves 
would command so higb a fee, and that, there- 
fore, it was paid for his Congressional influence. 
The groundlessness of this supposition I have 
elsewhere exposed, and I consider the charge 
too futile for labored refutation ; but I append a 
few, remarks from the New York Evening Post, 
which effectually dispose of the whole accusation : 

"It is charged that in the year 1873 General 

Garfield received a counsel fee of $5000 from 
De Golyer and McClelland, the owners of a pat- 
ent for wood pavement, which was laid down at 
a great cost in the streets of the city of Wash- 
ington, under a contract with the Government of 
the District of Columbia ; that he did no coun- 
sel work in the case, and that the money was 
paid for no other purpose than to influence his 
conduct as a member of the Congress by which 
an appropriation for this wood pavement was 
made, and especially as chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Appropriations of the House of Rep- 
resentatives. It is to be observed that, while 
this charge has been many times repeated, the 
evidence on which it is founded has been forth- 
coming very slowly. The reason of this reluc- 
tance is clear from the report of the investigating 
committee. The evidence has not been furnished, 
because it does not prove the case. Before this 
committee, in February, 1877, Garfield testified 
that he never knew or saw De Golyer or McClel- 
land, but was retained by a friend — a lawyer — 
who desired him to make a brief and argument , 
in the case for him ; and that, instead of doing 
nothing to earn the fee, he made a long and la- 
borious examination of this particular patent and 
many^ others, and prepared an elaborate brief. 
Garfield further showed — and this is the only 
important fact in the whole case — that Congress 
did not make any appropriation to pay for the 
pavement, and was not asked to make any, and 
that, therefore, the ofBcial conduct of Garfield 
could not be aflTected by the fee, because he 
could have no oflScial relations to the matter. 
The contract for the pavement was made by- the 
Board of Public Works, and was paid for by a 
geneial local loan already authorize^ by law, 
and by a, tax or assessment levied by the Gov- 
ernment of the District of Columbia — just as 
local improvements in other cities are paid for 
by tlie property which they are supposed to ben- 
efit. Congress might be called upon to meet gen- 
eral deficiencies in the revenues of the District, 
but this contingency was remote, and did not 
form a condition of the De Golyer and McClel- 
land contract. With this only the Board of 
Public Works was concerned. Garfield's stoiy 
was supported by the testimony of Commissioner 
Shepherd before the committee. He says that 
Congress was not in session when the contract 
was awarded, and, further, 'We had ample ap- 
propriations for all the work we had awarded- 
including that, without regard to any appropri 
ation from Congress. All these contracts wej 
awarded on the basis of the four-million loan, 
and the assessments by the city which were avi- 
thorized by that law. They were not at all 
contingent upon Congressional approprifetion.' 
Even Benjamin R. Nickerson, who tried hard 
to convict Garfield before the committee, really 
supported his story, and was constrained to ad- 
mit that no appropriation was made directly for 
the pavement by Congress, and that the only 
connection of Congress with the matter was its 
assumption afterward of some of the certificates 
of indeUtedness of the Board of Works. 

"We have considered so far in these several 
cases only the bare testimony, without regard to 
the character and circumstances of General Gar- 
field, or of the witnesses against him ; and upon 
this bare testimony the friends of Garfield may 
safely rest his defence. But the people will not 
fail to take character and circumstances into ac- 
count. They will remember that General Gar- 
field is to-day worth not more than $25,000, 
although he has been long enough in public life 
to become enormously wealthy if he had been in- 
clined to turn his official opportunities to pecuni- 
ary profit. They will remember that his reputa- 
tion and his methods are not those of a sharp 
and selfish speculator in politics, but are those 
of a statesman ; and that the intellectual, habit 
of the man, to say nothing of his moral nature 
and his uniform public conduct, are wholly in- 
consistent with the notion that for a paltry sum 
he would have blasted an honorable name, and 
risked a brilliant career." 

This lengthy statement of General Garfield'* 
connection with these notorious scandals is made 
for those who do not know him personally. To